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How goodly are thy tents, O Jacob! and thy tabernacles, O Israel!— 
Numbers xxiv, 5. 

Behold. I send an Angel before thee— beware of him, and obey his voice ; 
provoke him not. — If thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak, 
then I will be an enemy to thine enemies, and an adversary to thine adversa- 
ries.— Exodus xxiii, 20-22. 



J. CoUord, Printer. 

Entered according to act of Congress, in the year 1840, by 
T. Mason & G. Lane, in the clerk's oiRce of the Southern 
District of New-York. 


The favorable manner in which the first and second 
volumes of this History have been received, induces me 
to add a third, in the hope that it may increase the 
stock of useful information in reference to the work 
which God has wrought in this country by the instru- 
mentality of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

In the conclusion of the second volume it was re- 
marked, that it was my intention, when the History 
was commenced, to bring it down near to the present 
time, in two volumes ; but, as I proceeded in the work, 
it was found impracticable to fulfil this intention, with- 
out such an abridgment as would. either compel me to 
omit some important transactions and edifying incidents, 
or so to shorten them as to render them uninstructive 
and uninteresting. I was therefore compelled, contrary 
to my first design, to close the second volume in the 
year 1816. 

That this alteration in the plan at first contemplated 
has been generally approved of, I have evidence from 
numerous testimonies. Indeed, the greatest fault I 
have heard, from those who are disposed to judge chari- 
tably of my work, has been, that it is not sufficiently 
particular, or that its details are not as numerous as is 
desired. This defect, however, if it be one, I am una- 
ble to remedy, as I have, with but few exceptions, 
wrought up all the materials within my reach, unless I 




were injudiciously to encumber the volume with irrele- 
vant matter. 

The present volume, however, I consider rich in 
matter, particularly in relation to the doings of the Gene- 
ral Conference, and to the enlargement of our work by 
means of our Missionary Society, and other auxiliaiy 
appliances. And I have endeavored to give such a de- 
tailed account of the origin, character, and progress of 
this society as will, if the history be continued on the 
same plan, supersede the necessity of a separate history 
of that institution. Indeed, this society, together with 
the tract, Sunday school, and education causes, is so in- 
terwoven in our general plan of operations, that a history 
of our Church would be quite imperfect which did not 
embrace a narrative of these things. 

It being desirable to have the alphabetical list of 
preachers unbroken, it has been thought advisable to 
transfer that list from the second to the third volume ; 
and the more so as that volume is sufficiently large 
without it, containing, as it does, upward of four hun- 
dred pages. 

In adverting to this Hst I consider it proper to men- 
tion the following facts, as furnishing good reasons for 
an apology for any errors which have been or may be 
detected, in the spelling of names, dates, or otherwise. 

1. In regard to the orthography of proper names I 
have found insuperable difficulties. The same name I 
have in frequent instances found differently spelled in 
the printed Minutes even for the same year — one way 
perhaps when admitted on trial, and another in the sta- 
tions — and then the next year differently from either 
of the two. In this confusion who is to decide which is 
right? It is true that some names, particularly those 


foutid in the sacred Scriptures — though these are by no 
means uniformly alike in their orthography in the Old 
and New Testaments, owing to the different usages of 
the Hebrew and Greek languages — and in the Greek 
and Latin classics, have a fixed orthography ; but in 
most instances proper names are spelled as whim or 
fancy would dictate^ some families, even of their own 
accord, either dropping or adding a letter or letters. And 
this confusion and difficulty exist in a peculiar degree 
in the United States, made up, as the citizens are, from 
almost every nation under heaven, and therefore having 
names, the orthography of which is peculiar to the seve- 
ral nations from which they came, or to the ancestors 
from whom they have descended. If any one can un- 
ravel this tangled skain, and teach us how to spell every 
proper name correctly, he will perform a task for which 
I confess myself inadequate. Or if any one will take 
the Minutes of our conferences and decide which of the 
varying orthographies of some names is the correct one, 
he shall receive my thanks, and will merit the thanks 
of all concerned. But as the secretaries of the annual 
conferences, editors, and printers were not able to con- 
trol this perplexing business at the times the Minutes 
were prepared and printed, I hope to be pardoned if I 
should fail to make every thing of this sort entirely ac- 

2. But this is by no means the most serious difficulty 
which I have had to encounter. In several instances I 
have found preachers returned located, and in three in- 
stances expelled* who were never admitted into full 

* In one instance I found a preacher returned located and 
expelled in the same year ! In another, located in one year 
and expelled the next. 



connection. Such names I have generally omitted al- 
together, as I have taken no account of mere probation- 
ers in the traveUng ministry. 

3. In numerous instances I have found that certain 
preachers were located^ readmitted^ and then located 
again, twice, thrice, and even four times. In such 
cases I have, as far as I could ascertain the fact, fixed 
the date of their location the last time mentioned, with 
a view to give them credit for at least all the years they 
may have traveled. On this account, those who may 
compare the list in this volume — which has been tho- 
roughly revised — with the one appended to the second, 
will find that several who were recorded as located be- 
fore, or in the year 1816, are herein returned as having 
located at a later date, because they re-entered the tra- 
veling ministry, continued for a shorter or longer time, 
and then located again. 

4. In a few instances persons have been expelled by 
an annual conference, and afterward, on an appeal, 
restored by the General Conference. This may have led 
to some errors in these returns, though I trust but few. 

5. In some instances preachers were continued on 
trial for more than two years ; and not adverting to that 
fact while preparing the list for the former volume, and 
taking their names as they stand recorded in answer to 
the question, " Who are admitted into full connection ?" 
such were returned as received a year later than was 
actually the case. So far as this fact has been ascer- 
tained, the correction has been made in the present hst. 

6. In many cases it has been difficult to ascertain the 
precise year in which a preacher died. In the body of 
the History I have, in recording deaths, generally fol- 
lowed the order of the Minutes, and recorded them as 



having died in the course of the preceding year ; but in 
the alphabetical list I have endeavored to ascertain the 
year in which each preacher died. As, however, some 
of the records are indefinite in this particular, I have 
been guided by the most probable conjecture. There 
are, however, I believe, but few cases of this character. 

When the reader duly considers these perplexing dis- 
crepances and defects, he will be prepared to make some 
allowance for the unavoidable errors which grow out of 
them ; and the more so, when he considers that this 
History has been written by a hand equally fallible as 
those which prepared the authorized records. 

Some unintentional omissions of names in the former 
volume are supplied in this ; and if others should be de- 
tected, as doubtless they wiU be, the correction will be 
made with the more pleasure, because it will add to the 
perfection of the work. The reader may rest assured, 
however, that no pains have been spared by either the 
author or printer to make every thing as accurate as 
possible; and hence, if errors are detected, he must 
attribute them to a want of ability, under the circum- 
stances, to avoid them. 

To God, who alone is absolutely perfect, but whose 
boundless mercy inclines him to pardon the aberrations 
of his creatures, for the sake of his Son Jesus Christ, be 
ascribed the honor and glory for what he has done for 
this branch of his Church. 

N. Bangs. 

New 'York, Jan. 1, 1839. 






From the Death of Bishop Asbury to the Close of the General Confer- 
ence of 1816. 

In the closing part of the last volume an incidental 
aUusion was made to a controversy which arose in this 
country between us and other denominations, but more 
particularly the Calvinists. 

It is well known that not long after Mr. Wesley be- 
gan his career of usefulness, he was joined by Mr. 
Whitefield, whose stirring eloquence in the pulpits of the 
Establishment created a great sensation among both 
clergy and people, and drew such multitudes to hear 
him, that he ventured, in imitation of his Divine Mas- 
ter, into the fields, where he proclaimed the glad tidings 
of salvation to listening thousands. Wesley soon fol- 
lowed the example, and gieat was the effect produced 
by their joint exertions in this novel way of preaching 
Christ and him crucified. 

Unhappily, to human appearance, a diflference arose 

between these two great and good men. Whitefield, 

being much opposed and persecuted by the lukewarm 

clergy of the Establishment, gradually contracted an in- 

1* 3 


timacy with the Dissenters, and, on his coming to 
America, became acquainted with the pious and talent- 
ed Edwards — afterward president of Princeton College 
— then settled at Northampton, Massachusetts. Find- 
ing among these people more of the appearance of evan- 
gelical doctrine, and of experimental and practical 
piety, than with those of the Establishment, Whitefield 
soon drank in their doctrine of predestination and its 
correlatives, eternal election and final perseverance. This 
led to a controversy between him and Wesley, which 
eventuated in a partial separation — a separation in 
their respective fields of labor and sentiment, though 
not in heart and affection — for they always esteemed 
each other highly as devoted Christian ministers. This 
took place in the year 1741, Whitefield rallying under 
the banner of Calvinistic decrees, patronized by Lady 
Huntingdon, and supported by many of what were 
called the evangelical clergy of the Establishment in 
England, and by the most zealous of the Presbyterians 
and Congregationahsts of America — while Wesley and 
his brother Charles hoisted the flag of Arminius, fortify- 
ing themselves with the standards of their own church, 
and defending themselves by direct appeals to the Holy 
Scriptures and the dictates of common sense and sound 
reason. This brought on a protracted warfare between 
the parties, both from the pulpit and the press, during 
which the doctrines and measures of Mr. Wesley passed 
through the severest ordeal of critical investigation, 
and most heart-searching appeals to Scripture and 

This brought the vicar of Madeley, the pious and 
peace-loving Fletcher, from his retreat in the obscure 
parish where he had chosen to labor for the salvation 


of souls, and obliged him, quite contrary to his pacific 
disposition, to buckle on the armor of a polemic, in 
which he acquitted himself with singular success. He, 
indeed, seemed to be providentially raised up for the 
crisis, and he entered the arena of controversy fully fur- 
nished by sound and various learning, by deep and 
genuine piety, by meekness, patience, and love, and by 
a power of comprehension and nice discrimination, 
which peculiarly fitted him to sustain with dignity, 
firmness, and success, the high and holy cause he was 
called to defend. It is not saying too much to afiirm, 
that he vanquished all his antagonists, cleared the field 
of controversy of the thorns and briers of error, and at 
the same time maintained the spirit and temper of the 
Christian, while he powerfully wielded the sword of 
truth, and brought the warfare to a successful issue, sus- 
taining through the entire conflict the character of an 
able divine, a sound moralist, a consistent minister of 
Jesus Christ, and an acute and conclusive reasoner. 

Though assailed often by bitter raihng and biting 
sarcasm, he maintained the gravity of the minister of 
Christ and the meekness of the consistent Christian. 
If at any time he turned the weapon of irony upon his 
antagonists — as he sometimes did with most powerful 
effect — it was divested of the venom of bitterness, and 
dipped in the sw^eet waters of brotherly love. His mas- 
terly defences of Wesleyan theology remain unanswer- 
ed, and, it is believed, unanswerable, and will long re- 
main as a monument of his piety, of his devotion to the 
cause of truth, as well as a lofty beacon to apprize fu- 
ture mariners who may embark upon the rough sea of 
controversy, of the dangerous shoals and rocks upon 
which so many heedless men have been wrecked — 



at the same time distinctly and accurately marking 
the channel of truth through w hich the spiritual ark 
may be safely guided to the harbor of eternal repose. 

Armed with the panoply thus furnished them, the 
Wesleyan missionaries who first visited our shores were 
prepared to promulgate and defend the doctrines and to 
enforce the discipline of their founder. As before said, 
however, they mainly insisted on experimental and 
practical godhness, urging upon all, high and low, rich 
and poor, the necessity of a change of heart, such a 
change as should be productive of a reformation of hfe 
and conduct, in order to insure everlasting salvation. 
Instead of exhausting their strength in controversial 
preaching on those debatable points about which they dif- 
fered from Calvinists, Unitarians, Arians, and Universal- 
ists, they generally contented themselves with a plain 
and unvarnished statement of their doctrinal views, with 
urging upon the people experimental and practical reli- 
gion, and with defending themselves when assailed by 
others. This defence, however, often became necessa- 
ry, more especially in the northern and eastern states, 
where the people were more accustomed to a critical ex- 
amination of doctrinal points, and questions of doubtful 

For some time, however, the number of Method- 
ists in this country was so inconsiderable, that other 
denominations affected to treat them with silent con- 
tempt ; and if occasionally they condescended to notice 
them at all, it was more in the way of caricature and 
misrepresentation than by sober argument, or an at- 
tempt at a fair and direct refutation of their doctrine and 
usages. The High Churchman would sneer at our 
ordination, and, wrapping himself in the cloak of apos- 


tolical succession, with an air of assumed dignity, prate 
about " John Wesley's lay bishops," as though these 
jokes were sufficient to put us out of countenance. 
Others, panoplied in the stern decrees of Calvin, and 
priding themselves in their exclusive orthodoxy, would 
tantalize us with "salvation by the merit of good works, 
the omnipotency of free-will^ and the unsoundness of 
our doctrine of justification ;" while some would smile at 
" baby baptism," as an affiont offered to the Deity, and 
an innovation upon apostolic usage. These all united 
to ridicule our itinerant plan of preaching the gospel, as 
a novelty which must soon come to an end ; and, to 
give point and poignancy to their sarcasms, our itinerant 
preachers were called " circuit-riders^^'' as if to ride a 
circuit were their distinguishing badge, not caring to 
inform the people whether eis preachers or itinerant phy- 

These reproaches were borne with as much patience 
as possible, and our ministers continued to deserve them 
more and more by persevering in their peculiar work, 
and by endeavoring to prove their falsity by a faithful 
exhibition of the true doctrmes of tlieir church, and also 
to refute the slanderous representations of their mode of 
life and manner of preaching, by the exemplariness of 
their conduct. To those who became intimately ac- 
quainted with them from personal intercourse, they 
commended themselves for the depth and uniformity of 
their piety, as well as by the soundness of their doctrine 
and the laboriousness of their lives. In all such a con- 
fidence was inspired in the strictness of their integrity, 
as well as in the wisdom of their plans of doing good 
to the souls and bodies of men. 

But, as before said, these controversies and modes of 



defence were confined chiefly to the pulpit, and to a re- 
publication of a few of Wesley's and Fletcher's doctrinal 
and practical tracts and sermons, the reading of which 
was confined mostly to our own societies and tlieir im- 
mediate friends ; we had no wTiters of note on this side 
the Atlantic, and no periodical through which we could 
speak to the public ear ; for, as I have before remarked, 
after the discontinuance of the Arminian Magazine, 
in 1790 — two volumes only having been published — 
with the exception of a few straggling pamphlets, which 
scarcely survived the day of their birth, our press was as 
silent as the grave in respect to uttering a sentiment 
from an American author, and the Magazine was not 
resumed until the year 1818, and even then, as its re- 
spected editor announced, with much fear and trem- 
bUng for its success. 

Yet, as the Methodists increased in number and je- 
spectability, and their influence upon the public mind 
was proportionately augmented, other denominations 
began to awake from their slumber, to look about them 
for other means than those heretofore used for offensive 
warfare, as well as to defend themselves against the in- 
roads which Methodism was making upon their con- 
gregations, and the impression it produced upon the 
public mind. For these " circuit-riders" were no idle 
shepherds. They not only rode circuits, but they 
" went everywhere preaching the kingdom of God," 
breaking over parish lines, entering into every open 
door, and with a loud, distinct voice, proclaiming to all 
they could prevail on to hear them, that they must 
" fear God and give glory to his name." Hence the 
opposition to our distinctive doctrines and modes of pro- 
cedure became more serious and systematical ; our op- 


ponents began to feel the necessity of meeting us in the 
field of argument with more fairness ; and instead of 
drawing ridiculous caricatures for the amusement of 
themselves and their readers, to state our doctrines as 
we hold them. This, w^e say, became necessary, for 
the eyes of the public were becoming somewhat en- 
lightened in respect to what Wesleyan Methodists really 
believed and taught, and were thence led to hear, and 
read, and compare for themselves. The consequence 
w^as, that the offensive features of Calvinism were be- 
coming more and more repulsive, and the creed by 
which its nominal followers were distinguished under- 
went some modifications, better suited, as was thought, 
to the temper of the times. Thus, instead of ascribing 
the final destinies of mankind to an omnipotent decree, 
the subtle distinction was introduced between the natu- 
ral and moral abilities of men, making the latter the 
only potent barrier to the sinner's salvation. This the- 
ory, w^iich for some time was confined to comparatively 
few, seems to have been an improvement upon Presi- 
dent Edwards's system On the Will, and was invented 
by Dr. Hopkins, of Newport, R. I., and thenceforth 
called, by way of distinction, Hopkinsianism. This, 
it was thought by many, would enable them to meet 
and obviate the objections which were brought against 
the doctrine of unconditional election and reprobation, 
by placing the criminahty of all sinful actions in the 
perversity of the human will, called " moral inability," 
especially as they contended that the sinner possessed a 
" natural ahiliti/^ to do all which God required. Hence 
the doctrine of eternal decrees, as taught by John Cal- 
vin, though still held in theory, was studiously kept out 
of sight by those who embraced these new views, and 



the theory of " natural ability and moral inability" was 
substituted in its place. 

This subtle theory, however, by no means answered 
the proposed end. The Methodists still insisted that 
this " natural abihty," however potent, could never 
overcome the efficient operation of an immutable de- 
cree, which had fixed the destinies of all mankind before 
the worlds were made — nor would the moral ability or 
inability alter that which had been made imalterahle 
by the eternal fiat of the Almighty. 

These conflicting theories somewhat changed the 
points of controversy between the Calvinists and Ar- 
minians. While Wesley and Fletcher were compelled, 
from theii- position, to meet their antagonists on the old 
points of controversy which had been mooted in the 
Protestant world from the days of John Calvin, his sys- 
tem had now assumed, under the improving hands of 
some of his most distinguished followers, so many new 
traits, that new arguments of defence were called for by 
the advocates of universal atonement and conditional 
salvation. Under these circumstances, many, on both 
sides of these controverted points, thought it their duty 
to enter the field of theological discussion. This they 
did with all the ardor of new recruits. And among 
those who distinguished themselves in conducting this 
theological warfare, might be mentioned men who had 
grown gray in the cause of Christ, as well as others 
of younger years, whose youthful temperament may 
have betrayed them into a harshness of expression, on 
some occasions, incompatible with the meekness and 
soberness of the Christian minister — faults of human 
beings, for which the Christian system alone provides 
an adequate atonement and mode of forgiveness. 


At length circumstances led the author of this His- 
\ory into a public debate with a Presbyterian minister, 
which was held in the town of Durham, N. Y., May 
10, 1810. The discussion involved the " Five Points," 
so long mooted by Calvinists and Arminians, and some 
of the other subjects of dispute already indicated. Not 
long after, the pastor of the congregation in whose 
church the debate was conducted, the Rev. Ralph Wil- 
liston, published a volume of sermons, in which he en- 
tered into a discussion of the topics which had been the 
subjects of controversy in the public debate, and con- 
cluded the whole with an examination into the charac- 
ter of " Satan's ministers," in which it was broadly in- 
sinuated that our ministers, on several accounts, might 
be classed under that denomination. As it was thought 
by many that these sermons gave a distorted view of 
some of our doctrines, and must exert an injurious in- 
fluence upon our ministry, a reply was published in 
1815, in six letters addressed to the author of the ser- 
mons, in which an attempt was made to rectify his 
mistakes, to refute his arguments in favor of the Cal- 
vinistic and Hopkinsian theory, and to vindicate the 
doctrines and ministry of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. Some portions of these letters were severely 
animadverted upon by the Rev. Mr. Haskil, of Ver- 
mont, to which an answer was published in a small 
book, called " Predestination Examined." Soon after, 
Mr. Williston sent out a second volume, in reply to the 
" Errors of Hopkinsianism," the title of the book contain- 
ing the letters addressed to that gentleman, called " A 
Vindication of some of the essential Doctrines of the 
Reformation." This attempt to identify the peculiari- 
ties of Hopkinsianism with the essential doctrines of the 



reformers, called forth " The Reformer Reformed," the 
title being suggested by the impression, that if the Re- 
formation carried with it errors of such a pernicious 
consequence, ais it was believed must flow from the doc- 
trine of an ejfficient operation of universal and immu- 
table decrees, the Reformation itself needed reforming 
— a sentiment not retracted on more mature con- 

It by no means becomes me to express an opinion of 
the character or results of this protracted discussion, 
though I may be allowed to indulge a hope that it had 
its use in bringing our doctrines more prominently be- 
fore the public, in rectifying some erroneous impressions 
respecting our ministry and usages, and in awakening 
public attention to the precise points of difference be- 
tween us and our Calvinistic brethren. The subject, 
however, has been thus introduced here, because these 
things belong properly to the history of the tunes, and 
also to show the position we occupied in the ecclesias- 
tical affairs of the country, as well as the duties which 
seemed to devolve on us to defend, as far as we were 
able, our doctrines and usages from all unjust imputa- 
tions. It will be found in the sequel that we were called 
upon to sustain an arduous conflict with our brethren 
of other denominations, as well as with some of our own 
household, who, for various reasons, "went out from 
us," in order to rescue our ministry from reproach, and 
our doctrines, government, and usages from the nume- 
rous objections which were preferred against them. 

Another thing tended about this time to direct our 

attention to the general state of the religious affairs in 

our country. Allusion has already been made to the 

^' Charitable Society for the Education of pious Young 



Men for the Ministry of the Gospel," and of the com- 
mission which was sent to explore the western country, 
and to report the religious siate of things in that portion 
of our republic. 

To awaken public attention to the necessity and im- 
portance of sustaining this society, Dr. Lyman Beecher, 
in behalf of the society, issued an address to the 
churches, calling on them for pecuniary aid, to support 
and educate indigent pious young men for the ministry, 
assigning, among other reasons, the peculiar fitness of 
such young men, from their more hardy character and 
habits of life, to enter upon this rugged field of labor. 
To make the deeper and more powerful impression 
upon the Christian community in favor of the object 
proposed, the address went into a statistical account of 
the religious state of the several portions of our country, 
and concluded by a most rousing appeal to the sympa- 
thies and liberality of the people in behalf of the Educa- 
tion Society. In describing the moral and spiritual 
desolations of these United States, the address disclosed 
the astounding fact, that, in addition to those already in 
the services of the sanctuary, there were wanting ^^Jive 
thousand competent ministers," to supply the entire 
population of our country with the word and ordinances 
of the gospel. 

At the announcement of this fact, the Christian com- 
munity awoke as from a deep slumber. They began 
to look around them for the data on which this calcula- 
tion was founded. On examination, it was ascertained 
that the address assumed the necessity of one minister 
to every one thousand souls — that, as there were at 
the time eight millions of inhabitants in the United 
States and territories, and as there were, says the 



address, only three thousand educated ministers in the 
land, there remained five millions of the inhabitants 
destitute of a competent ministry. This was an alarm- 
ing conclusion. 

Among others who published strictures on this strange 
production, the late Rev. Freeborn Garrettson wrote a 
small pamphlet, in which he showed the effect which 
the statements set forth in the address must have upon 
other denominations. He, as well as others who ex- 
amined the statistics of Dr. Beecher, concluded that he 
meant to exclude all other ministers than those of the 
Calvinistic order from being " competent" to the work 
in which they were engaged ; for, on a very moderate 
calculation, there were even then more than three thou- 
sand ministers belonging to the Presbyterian, Dutch 
Reformed, and Congregational churches ; and it is be- 
lieved that among the Baptist, Lutheran, Protestant, 
and Methodist Episcopal Churches, without saying 
any thing of the minor sects, there were more than 
five thousand ministers, many of whom would by no 
means suffer from a comparison with their brethren of 
the other denominations ; hence, allowing the accuracy 
of this calculation, there was at that very time more 
than one minister for every one thousand human souls ; 
the irresistible conclusion therefore was, that the address 
excluded from the catalogue of competent ministers all 
except those who belonged to one or the other of the 
Calvinistic churches above named. And this conclusion 
is strengthened by the fact, th^^ the address dwelt so 
emphatically upon the necessity of " an educated min- 
istry" as being essential to the efficient discharge of its 
duties, as it is well known that most of the other 
churches, however highly they might appreciate human 


learning, do not consider it an essential prerequisite to a 
gospel ministry. 

Such a disclosure of opinions, so deeply implicating 
the character and competency of so many ministers, 
many of whom had furnished the most irrefutable evi- 
dence of their efficiency in spreading the doctrines of 
God our Saviour, taken in connection with the report 
from the commission sent to explore our western coun- 
try, might well alarm the apprehensions of all con- 
cerned ; and hence a deep tone of dissatisfaction was 
heard throughout the churches, and a general burst of 
indignation against the assumptions of the address was 
simultaneously expressed by the several denominations 
who felt that their ministry were proscribed by its un- 
warrantable conclusions. The zeal, too, with which 
the address urged its claims upon the churches more 
immediately interested in its objects, showed that a 
mighty effort was making to carry into practical effect its 
comprehensive plans. As an evidence of this take the 
following extract : — 

" To produce such a combination and such an effort, the 
wretched state of our country must be made known. The 
information contained in this address may with propriety, 
it is believed, be communicated on the sabbath to all our 
worshiping assemblies, and the investigation commenced 
in it be continued, until a regular and minute account be 
given of the religious state of our land. The newspaper, 
the tract, and magazine must disclose to our slumbering 
countrj-men their danger. The press must groan in the 
communication of our wretchedness ; and from every pul- 
pit in our land the tmmpet must sound long and loud. The 
nation must be awakened to save itself by its own ener- 
gies, py we are undone." 



We have no right, nor have we any wish, to decide 
upon the character of men's motives, any farther than 
their words and actions proclaim it. And allowing 
that tlie end proposed by the gentlemen who wrote and 
sanctioned this address was purely the salvation of 
souls from sin, and the salvation of our country from its 
ruinous consequences, the means used were highly 
laudable, and the stirring language of the address, a 
fair sample of which is found in the preceding extract, 
was admirably calculated to arouse the slumbering ener- 
gies of the church to a zealous activity in the cause of 
reform. Yet it could not but seem somewhat strange to 
us, that they should not have awakened to this all-im- 
poitant subject until just then — at a time too when 
other denominations, and particularly the Methodists, 
had been blessed with the most extensive revivals of 
religion which had been witnessed in any age or land 
since the apostolic days. This is fully attested by the 
preceding volume of this History. Were the authors 
of this address ignorant of these facts ? We had reason 
to believe that it was a knowledge of them which 
aroused their dormant energies, and led them just then 
to put forth their strength to counteract the growing in- 
fluence of Methodism. For it was to the western 
country chiefly, and in the southern states, that this 
society were about to direct their efforts to supply the 
lack of ministerial service. And it was in the west 
more especially that our ministry had been so abun- 
dantly blessed. It was here, where the inhabitants 
from the older states and from Europe were pouring in 
with unparalleled rapidity, that, through the agency of 
camp meetings, and a general itinerant ministry, Me- 
thodism had already wrought wonders, and was still 


going forward, keeping pace with the extension of the 
settlements, and bowing the hearts of sinners to the 
yoke of Jesus Christ. Had we not, therefore, reason to 
suspect that our ministry especially were denounced as 
incompetent, and that the fear was the country would 
become deluged with the bitter waters issuing from the 
corrupt fountain of Methodism ! Whether true or 
false, such was the impression, and therefore, in con- 
junction with others who felt themselves deeply impU- 
cated by the assumptions of this remarkable address, we 
felt ourselves authorized to enter our protest against its 
doctrines, and to furnish the people with an antidote to 
its injurious insinuations. This, as I have before said, 
was done by Mr. Garrettson ; and the following extract 
from his pamphlet will show the successful manner in 
which he exposed and refuted the erroneous calculations 
of the address. Addressing himself directly to Dr. 
Beecher, he thus shows the fallacy of his arguments : — 

" You have placed your church in Connecticut on the 
highest scale among the several states in the Union. You 
have given a short history of it, and have, in your way, 
prostrated the southern part of our country. Probably you 
are a native of Connecticut; I was born in Maryland; 
and as you have, among other southern states, imdertaken 
to degrade the religious character of the people of this 
state, I am willing to compare them with those of your 
state. I am well acquainted with almost every part of 
both ; and as you have fixed your eye on the Congrega- 
tional Church in Connecticut, I shall fix mine on the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in Maryland. 

" You say that you have upward of 200 congregations, 
averaging 50 members each, making about 10,000 church 
members. I have looked over our church records, and 



find that we have in Maryland* more than 25,000 church 
members, who have the pure word of God preached, and 
the sacraments duly administered." 

It was, moreoveFj the opinion of many, that the ad- 
dress had a political object in view. This opinion was 
founded on the following extract, taken in connection 
with the conclusion which seems to be warranted from 
the general tenor of the address, that ministers of other 
denominations were proscribed as being incompetent. 
After speaking of the defective character of the general 
government, on account of its not containing adequate 
provisions for its own permanency, the address adds : — 

" A remedy must be applied to this vital defect of our 
national organization. But what shall that remedy be "? 
There can be but one. The consolidation of the state 
governments would be a despotism. But the prevalence 
of pious, intelligent, enterprising ministers through the 
nation, at the ratio of one for a thousand, would establish 
schools, and academies, and colleges, and habits and insti- 
tutions of homogeneous influence. These would produce 
a sameness of views, and feelings, and interests, which 
would lay the foundation of our empire on a rock. Reli- 
gion is the central attraction which must supply the defi- 

* Dr. Beecher had represented the state of Maryland as 
being in a most deplorable condition. After having said that 
Virginia, with a population of 974,622, needed 900 ministers 
in addition to the 60 it already had to make up the one for 
every 1,000 of the inhabitants, he says, " Of the state of Ma- 
ryland we cannot speak particularly. But from general 
information on the subject, we have no reason to beheve the 
supply any better than that of Virginia;" that is, as 60 to 
900. He must therefore have considered either that the 
Methodists were not worthy to be included among Christian 
ministers and members of the church, or otherwise greatly 
depreciated the religious character of the state of Maryland. 


ciency of political affinity and interest. Religion is the 
bond of charity, which in storms must u.ndergird the ship.'' 

We accord to the soundness of these sentiments, pro- 
vided they apply to Christianity as a system of universal 
good-will to men, and as designed and calculated to 
connect the hearts of all together in one common 
brotherhood, and finally to produce, by its action on the 
lieart and conductj a conformity to its holy precepts. 
But the general contents and manifest tendency of the 
address seemed to forbid such a construction, and to 
place its authors in the position of strong eectarists, who 
were laboring to build up a particular denomination at 
the expense of all the rest. This " homogeneous influ- 
ence" — ^this "sameness of views, and feelings, and 
interests," were to be produced by the multiplication of 
"educated and competent ministers," who should be 
trained up in the school of this society, who should 
receive their lessons of instruction from Andover, and 
thence go out clothed with authority to propagate Cal- 
vinism, whether under the form of the Old or Nevv 
School Divinity, whether in the guise of Congregational 
or Presbyterian theology ; while it appeared manifest 
that all others were proscribed as heterodox and incom- 
petent, and therefore could not contribute to throw 
around the national ship, in time of a tempest, the 
strong cords of pure religion, and thus save the nation 
from a political wreck. 

We do not indeed say that this was the real design 
of the authors of this address ; but if it were not, it was 
most unhappily worded, and should have been either 
corrected or disavowed, neither of which, so far as is 
known to the present writer, has ever been done, 
although I believe that the inferences which were 

Vol. III.— 3 


drawn from it, and the general indignation it produced 
in a great portion of the religious community, caused 
its authors to withdraw it from circulation.* 

Thus nuicli I have thought it a duty to say in 
respect to this contioveray, because of its immediate 
bearing on the interests of our Church, and its more 
remote tendency upon its future history. It certainly 
tended to keep a,live the fire of contention between us 
and the Calvinistic churches, and thus to widen the 
breach already existing between the two great families, 
the Calvinists and Arminians. 

There was another event of general interest which 
occurred this year, and which had a favorable bearing 
upon our affairs, particularly in the state of Connecticut. 
In this state the original charter, which was received 
from the king of England on the first settlement of the 
counUy, had been the only constitution the state had 
possessed up to the time of which we now speak. It 
is well known that in the early settlement of that 
colony, provision was made by law that no person 

* Dr. Beecher, who wrote the address, in a conversation 
with the writer of this History, remarked, that he had been 
misunderstood, and therefore had suffered much abuse from 
the public press, on account of the sentiments set forth in 
the address. It was asked, " Why, then, do you not explain 
yourself, and set the public right ?" The reply was, " I 
cannot do it without making matters worse." From this it 
was inferred that he found himself in a dilemma, from which 
he could not extricate himself without offending one party or 
the other. I think it, however, but justice to say, that he 
disavowed any intention of producing any other political 
influence than what should arise from a religious purification 
of the moral atmosphere, so that men should come to the 
polls under the restraints of Christian principles ; and that 
by an educated ministry he did not mean a collegiate, but 
only a theological education. 


should vote at an election, or hold a civil office, unless 
he were a member of the church. This severe and 
impolitic law was afterward so far relaxed as to allow 
those who joined the " half-way covenant," in order to 
obtain Christian baptism for their children, to be eh^ble 
to civil offices, and to exercise the right of suffiage. 
Still, however, the law was exclusive in its demands, 
making it essential, in order to possess civil rights, to 
be either in the '• half-way covenant," that is, members 
of the Congregational society, or otherwise to become 
full members of that church. By these civil regula- 
tions the Congregationalists were established by law, 
and were supported by a regular tax, while other sects 
were held under civil disabilities, being obliged, in 
addition to supporting themselves, to contribute their 
quota for the maintenance of tlie established clergy, at 
the same time that they were disfranchised from the 
privileges of freemen, by an exclusion from all offices of 
trust and profit. Nor could the clergy of the Dissenters 
perform the rites of matrimony even for members of 
their own congregations. 

These severe and unjust regulations were so far 
modified from time to time as to allow those who 
belonged to dissentient sects the piivilege of depositing 
a certificate in the town clerk's office of their having 
separated themselves from the '^standmg order," and 
they were thereby exempted from paying ministerial 
tax for the maintenance of the estabHshed clergy. 
They were also entitled to hold offices in the state, and 
to vote at the elections. 

Such was the general state of things in Connecticut, 
when some circumstances happened which resulted in 
the overthrow of this legal hierarchy, and placed all the 


religious sects upon an equal standing, both in civil 
and religious affairs. 

During the war of 1812-1815, the militia of that 
state were called out, by order of the general govern- 
ment, to defend the people against the apprehended 
depredations of the enemy. The authorities of the 
state, however, refused to let their militia sevwe under 
United States' officers, but they were marshalled under 
those appointed by the state. The consequence was, 
that the general government refused to pay the expense 
of the campaign. After the restoration of peace, the state 
of Connecticut petitioned Congress to refund the amount 
which the state had expended in paying for the services 
of the militia during the late war, a pait of which was 
granted by the general government, and paid into the 
treasury of the state. The legislature of Connecticut, 
with a view to conciliate all parties, resolved that the 
money thus refunded should be divided among the 
several religious denominations, which was accordingly 
done; but, in the estimation of the Protestant and 
Methodist Episcopalians and Baptists, the division was 
so unequal, such an undue proportion being given to 
the Congregationalists, that they took offence, some of 
them refusing to receive what was awarded to them, 
and all united to protest against the proceedings as 
illiberal, unequal, and unjust. This led to a union of 
effort between the dissatisfied denominations against 
the standing order ; and, seizing upon the occasion as 
an auspicious moment to assert their rights, they suc- 
ceeded in calling a state convention, by which the old 
charter of Charles II. was abrogated, a bill of riglits pro- 
mulgated, and a new constitution framed and adopted, 
which aboUshed church taxes and exclusive privileges, 


and put all sects upon an equality in respect to civil 
and religious rights; and thus they enfranchised the 
proscribed portion of the conununity, making all alike 
dependant on the voluntary principle for the support of 
the clergy and other incidents of divine worship. 

This result was hailed as an auspicious period by 
the friends of equal rights, both in and out of the 
churches, as it did away the odious distinction between 
the privileged order, who had been so long established 
by law, and the various sects which had sprung up in 
the state, some of whom were nearly as numerous as 
were the Congiegationalists themselves, and, when 
united with the others, formed a decided majority. 

This was breaking the last link of legal tyranny in 
religious matters in our country — with the exception, 
perhaps, of some of its relics which are dangling upon 
the civil code of Massachusetts — by proclaiming to all 
the rights of conscience, according to the laws of nature, 
of God, and the fundamental principles of our national 

Having noticed these matters, because they had and 
still have a bearing upon our history, I shall now pro- 
ceed in the narration of the affairs of our Church in 
their regular order. 

The death of Bishop Asbury, as related in the pre- 
ceding chapter, left us with only one superintendent, 
Bishop M'Kendree, and he was in a very delicate state 
of health. He continued, however, to discharge his 
official duties, and was much supported in his labors by 
the good countenance of his brethren in the ministry 
and membership. 

The number of Church members for 1816 shows 
that the increase was small, as the country had not yet 


30 A HISTORY OF THE [1816. 

fully recovered from the shock it had received fiom the 
late war, nor was the spirit of revival and reformation 
in that holy and vigorous exercise, by which it had 
shown itself at some former periods. Indeed, a dis- 
putatious spirit, in respect to some points of church 
government, engrossed too much of the time and atten- 
tion of many, it is to be feared, to the neglect of the 
" weightier matters of the law, judgment, justice, and 
the love of God." 

Numbers in the Church. 

Whites. Colored. Total. Preacbere. 

This year 171,931 42,304 214,235 695 
Last year 167,978 43,187 211,165 704 

Increase 3,953 Dec. 883 In. 3,070 Dec. 9 

It will be perceived from the above that there was a 
decrease of nearly nine hundred colored members. This 
was owing to a defection among the colored people in 
the city of Philadelphia, by which upward of one thou- 
sand in that city withdrew from our Church and set up 
for themselves, with Richard Allen, a colored local 
preacher — an elder in the Methodist Episcopal Church 
— at their head. 

We have already had occasion to notice the labors of 
the Methodist ministry in behalf of ihe colored popula- 
tion of our country, both free and enslaved. Many 
thousands had become members of the Church, and 
were in general orderly and exemplary in their conduct ; 
and some of those who were free had acquired \vealth 
and respectabihty in the community. Among these 
converted negroes a considerable number, possessing 
gifts for the edification of their- brethren, had received 


license to preach, and several had been ordained dea- 
cons, and a few to the office of local elders. 

Among the latter was Richard Allen, of Philadel- 
phia. By habits of industry and economy, though 
born a slave in one of the southern states, he had not 
only procured his freedom, but acquired considerable 
wealth, and, since he had exercised the office of a 
preacher and an elder, obtained great influence 
over his brethren in the Church. By his assistance, 
and the assistance of their white brethren, they had 
built them a decent house of worship, and were regu- 
larly organized into a Christian church, according to 
our disciplinary regulations, and were put under the 
pastoral oversight of a white elder, stationed by the 
bishop presiding in the Philadelphia conference. 

Under this state of things all seemed to go on well 
and prosperously. Mutual affection and confidence 
between the white and colored congregations, not in 
that city only, but also in most of the populous cities 
and villages in the Union, promised the most happy 
results of their united endeavors to promote their tem- 
poral and spiritual welfare. This harmony, however, 
was, by some untoward circumstances, interrupted. 
Mutual distrust and dissatisfaction succeeded, until 
finally Allen, and those who had been brought under 
his influence, separated themselves from the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. This occurred in the month of 
April, 1816. 

At the secession they organized themselves into an 
independent body, imder the title of the "African Me- 
thodist Episcopal Church," adopting our doctrines as 
their standards, and, as far as their circumstances would 
seem to allow, our form of discipline for their govern- 


32 A HISTORY OF THE [1816. 

ment. At their first General Conference, held in April 
of this year, Richard Allen was elected to the office of a 
bishop, and was consecrated by prayer and the imjxisi- 
tion of the hands of five colored local elders, one of 
whom, Absalom Jones, was a priest of the Protestant 
Episcopal Church. Though the circumstances which 
led to this secession produced some exasperation of spirit 
on both sides, at the time, yet it is stated by one of their 
first ministers, that they have prospered considerably in 
various parts of the country. At their conference in 
1828, one of their elders, Morris Brown, was elected 
and ordained a joint superintendent v/ith Richard Al- 
len ; and after the death of the latter, in 1 836, Edward 
Walters was set apart with the usual forms of conse- 
cration, as a joint superintendent with Mr. Brown. 

Whether they are better or worse off than they would 
have been had they remained in connection with the 
Church and ministry to which they were indebted for 
their spiritual and ecclesiastical existence, is move than 
we have the means of knowing. Be this as it may, 
the secession created for the time considerable uneasiness 
among our colored congregations in New- York city and 
some other places, which resulted in their separation 
also, although they did not all arrange themselves under 
the banners of Allen. They adopted the itinerant mode 
of preaching, and have spread themselves in different 
parts of Pennsylvania, New- York, New- Jersey, Mary- 
land, and Delaware states, though it is believed that 
their congregations, out of the city of Philadelphia, are 
generally small, and not very influential. There are 
also some in the western states, and a few in Upper 
Canada. The exact number belonging to this party I 
have not been able to ascertain. 


In the more southern states, the " Allenites^^ as they 
were called, by way of distinction, could make no 
favorable impression, as their preachers were not 
recognized by the laws of the states, and the slave 
population who were members of our Church had the 
character of our white ministry pledged as a guarantee 
for their good behavior. 

General Conference of 1816. 

This conference assembled in the city of Baltimore, 
on the first day of May of this year, and was composed 
of the following delegates : — 

New -York Conference. 

Freeborn Garrettson, 
William Phoebus, 
Nathan Bangs, 
Ebenezer Washburn, 
Eben Smith, 
Nathan Emory, 
Elijah Woolsey, 
Samuel Draper, 

Samuel Merwin, 
Peter P. Sandford, 
Henry Stead, 
Aaron Hunt, 
William Anson, 
Laban Clark, 
Thomas Ware, 
Daniel Ostrander. 

New-England Conference. 
George Pickering, Philip Munger, 

Joshua Soule, 
Elijah Redding, 
Oliver Beale, 
Martin Ruter, 
Asa Kent, 

Isaac Puffer, 
George Gary, 
Abner Chase, 
Henry Ryan, 
George Harman, 

Joseph A. Merrill, 
Solomon Sias, 
Charles Virgin, 
Eleazar Wells, 
David Kilbom. 
Genesee Conference. 

Dan Barnes, 
Seth Mattison, 
Chandley Lambert, 
Charles Giles, 
William Case. 


James Quinn, 
Charles Holliday, 
Marcus Lindsay, 
Jacob Young, 

Peter Cartwright 
Samuel Sellers, 

Lewis Myers, 

Daniel Asbury, 
Joseph Tarpley, 
William M. Kennedy, 
Thomas Mason, 
Hilliard Judge, 
Samuel Dunwody, 

Philip Bruce, 
William Jean, 
Thomas Burge, 
Edward Cannon, 
Cannellum H. Hines, 

Nelson Reed, 
Enoch George 


Ohio Conference. 

Samuel Parker, 
Isaac Quinn, 
David Young, 
John Sale, 
Benjamin Lakin. 
Tennessee Conference. 

James Axley, 
Jesse Walker, 
Thomas L. Douglass. 
South Carolina Conference. 

Anthony S enter, 
John B. Glenn, 
James Norton, 
Solomon Brj'an, 
Henry Bass, 
Reuben Tucker, 
Alexander Talley. 
Virginia Conference. 

John C. Ballew, 
Ethelbert Drake, 
Thomas Moore, 
Minton Thrift, 
INIatthew M. Dance. 
Baltimore Conference. 

Thomas Burch, 
William Ryland, 
Asa Shin, 
Jacob G ruber, 
Hamilton Jefferson, 
Christopher Frye, 
Beverly Waugh. 


Joshua Wells, 
Henry Smith, 
Stephen G. Roszel, 
Alfred Griffith, 
Andrew Hemphill, 

Philadelphia Conference. 
Robert Roberts, George WooUey, 


Lawrence McCombs, Stephen Martindale, 

Solomon Sharp, Asa Smith, 

Joseph Totten, Henry Boehm, 

John Walker, John Emory, 

Sylvester Hill, William Bishop. 

John Sharpley. 

The first thing which arrested the attention of all, 
and which seemed to spread a melancholy gloom over 
the house, was the absence of our venerated senior 
bishop, whose death and character I have recorded in 
the preceding volume. 

After making preparations for the removal of his 
remains from the place of their first sepulture, his 
valedictory address was read to the conference, which 
appeared to have been left in an unfinished state, con- 
taining merely the heads of what he would probably 
have drawn out at greater length, had his declining 
health permitted. It shows, however, the same intense 
and enlarged desire for the permanency and prosperity 
of the Church by which he had so long been character- 
ized, expressed in his usually sententious style, and con- 
cluded with an earnest exhortation to the conference to 
hold fast the doctrines and discipline under the influ- 
ence of which they had been hitherto bound together, 
blessed, and prospered. 

After the conference was organized, by the appoint- 
ment of a secretary, and attending to the usual prelimi- 
nary business. Bishop M'Kendree, who, by the death of 
Bishop Asbury, was the only surviving superintendent, 
delivered to tlie conference an address — a copy of which 
I have not been able to find — on the general state of 
the work, and the necessity of adding strength to 
the episcopacy. He also made such suggestions as 


36 A HISTORY OF THE [1816. 

he thought fit in respect to future movementg for tlie 
general peace and prosperity of our extended work. 
This address, and Bishop Asbury's valedictory, were 
referred to appropriate committees, the reports of which 
will be noticed in due time. 

The Rev. Messrs. Black and Bennett, of Nova Scotia, 
attended this conference as delegates from the British 
conference, in order to adjust, if possible, certain difficul- 
ties which had arisen in Canada, particularly in the 
lower province, out of what had taken place during the 
late war. As this sanguinary conflict had occasioned a 
temporary separation between us and the brethren in 
that country, the societies in Montreal and Quebec had 
petitioned the mission committee in London to supply 
them with preachers, and their petition had been 
granted and preachers sent. This occasioned some 
uneasiness in the minds of our preachers in that coun- 
try, and led to unhappy collisions between the two 
bodies of Methodists, which resulted finally in the sepa- 
ration of the Methodists in those provinces from the 
jurisdiction of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and 
their union with the Wesleyan Methodists in Eng- 

Some correspondence had taken place between our 
bishops and the Wesleyan Methodist conference, in 
relation to this unhappy affair; and at this General 
Conference the following letter was received from the 
missionary committee of London, and submitted to the 
conference, in connection with communications from 
the Rev. Messrs. Black and Bennett, in behalf of the 
British connection, and Rev. Messrs. Ryan and Case, 
in behalf of the brethren in Canada. The letter, which 
foll3ws, it appears, was addressed to Bishop Asbury, in 


answer to one they had received from him. It is as 
follows : — 

"New Chapel, City Road, London, Feb. 7, 1816. 

" Very Dear Sir : — It is by the particular request of 
the last British conference that we, as members of the 
missionary committee, address you, and our brethren in 
the United States, whom we very highly esteem as fellow- 
citizens of the saints, and fellow-laborers in the vineyard 
of our common Lord ; most fervently wishing that peace, 
righteousness, and joy in the Holy Ghost may abound in 
you and by you, to the praise of God and the glory of his 

" On reading your last very kind and affectionate letter, 
we sympathized with you, knowing how much it must 
have affected your mind, after being favored with so much 
spiritual prosperity, to have to lament a ' decrease of 
members in your societies ;' but we trust, since it hath 
pleased Divine Providence to cause the terrors of war to 
cease, and to restore the invaluable blessing of peace be- 
tween the two countries, that by this time you hail the 
dawn of a more auspicious day, and see the returning glory 
of the Lord revealed, and the quickening power of the 
Spirit diffusing its reviving influence, and that the voice of 
joy and rejoicing is heard in the congregations of the 
righteous. Glory to God in the highest, peace upon earth, 
and good-will toward men. Our united prayer and suppli- 
cation for you is, O Lord, we beseech, O Lord, we 
beseech, send now prosperity ! 

" It is with gratitude to the Lord of all that we can say, 
he is still extending his kingdom among us, by the instru- 
mentality of the preached word ; and his servants have 
had much consolation in their labors, by seeing sinners 
powerfully convinced of sin, penitents born of God, and 
believers sanctified by the Spirit. God has lately been 


38 A HISTORY OF THE [1816. 

reviving his work in various places, particularly in the 
city of Bristol, at SaHsbur>', &c. : in the former place 
several hundreds have been brought to the knowledge of 
God their Saviour. We can assure you we love this 
' good, old-fashioned religion,' of a deep conviction for 
sin, a clear sense of justification by faith, and entire sanc- 
tification of the soul from all moral pollution, as well, if not 
better than ever. Blessed be the God and Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us, and does even 
now bless us, with these spiritual blessings in heavenly 
places in Christ Jesus : and we ever pray with increasing 
desire, ' Thy kingdom come.' Our blessed Lord has 
greatly favored us with success in our missionary efforts, 
particularly in our new stations in the eastern world, Cey- 
lon, &;c., though this has been attended with its afflictive 
circumstances. Since the death of our venerable, highly 
esteemed, and much lamented friend and brother. Dr. 
Coke, our beloved brother Ault has been removed from a 
sphere of useful labor to his great reward. The other 
brethren are still preserved in their useful labors. A Bud- 
dhist priest of considerable learning has been converted to 
Christianity, and is now engaged in translating the Scrip- 
tures into two of the native languages. Several Moormen 
or Mohammedans have also received the truth, and are 
becoming useful preachers of the word of life ; and thou- 
sands of the poor heathen flock to hear the joyful tidings 
of the gospel. Our missionaries have begun to build a 
large chapel, house, school, printing-office, &:c., at Columbo, 
and have received the liberal support of the inhabit- 
ants. These buildings are to cost seven thousand dollars, 
six thousand of which have been already subscribed by 
the inhabitants. We have lately sent five more missiona- 
ries to that quarter of the globe, and one more is shortly to 
sail for Bombay. Thus the Lord is enlarging his king- 
dom, ' even from the rivers to the ends of the earth.' 


" We rejoice in the ardent Christian affection you ex- 
press toward your brethren in this country ; and be assured 
they entertain the same lively feelings and sentiments of 
brotherly love tOAvard you and your fellow-laborers in the 
Lord ; and should we be favored with a visit from you or 
them, it would give us inexpressible pleasure to give you 
the right hand of fellowship, and every expression of our 
sincere Christian regard. 

" To preserve a mutual good understanding, and the 
unity of the Spirit, and, as far as possible, a co-operation 
in promoting the good work of the Lord, we feel it our 
duty to state to you a subject of local difference, which to 
us has been painful, and which we feel a delicacy in 
stating, but to which we are compelled from the necessity 
of the case, that the word of the Lord be not hindered. In 
consequence of application being made to the British con- 
ference from the society at Montreal, a missionary was 
sent to that place, and received as the messenger of the 
gospel of peace ; but we are sorry to learn that some mis- 
understanding has taken place between brothers Strong 
and Williams, our missionaries, >nd brother Ryan, your 
presiding elder /or Lower Canada.') From the former we 
have received a statement of their proceedings, and from 
the latter a letter of complaint. We have also received a 
letter from brother Bennett, the chairman of the Nova 
Sdt)tia district, who has visited Montreal, &;c., and reported 
to us his proceedings. Upon a review of the whole, and 
from the most serious and deliberate consideration, we are 
led to conclude that, considering the relative situation of 
the inhabitants of Montreal and of Canada to this country, 
and particularly as a principal part of the people appear to 
be in favor of oiu: missionaries, it would be for their peace 
and comfort, and the furtherance of the gospel, for our 
brethren to occupy those stations, especially the former, 
and to which we conceive we have a claim, as a consider- 


40 A HISTORY OF THE [1816. 

able part of the money for building the chapel and house 
was raised in this country. We trust our American bre- 
thren will see the propriety of complying with our wishes 
with respect to those places ; not' to mention their political 
relation to this country, which, however, is not of little 
importance, for we are conscious that their general habits 
and prejudices are in favor of English preachers, being 
more congenial to their views and feelings, which should 
certainly be consulted, and will tend to facilitate the suc- 
cess of the gospel, and their spiritual prosperity. As your 
and our object is mutually to diffuse the knowledge of Him 
whose kingdom is not of this world, and by every possible 
means to promote the immortal interests of men, let us not 
contend — we have one Master, even Christ — but give 
place to each other, that the word of the Lord may have 
free course, run, and be glorified. We cannot but hope, 
that from the contiguity of the labors of the brethren be- 
longing to the two conferences, the spirit of unity and love 
will be promoted, and by this measure a more perfect 
reciprocal intercourse established. As you have kindly 
invited our esteemed brethren, Messrs. Black and Bennett, 
to take a seat in your conference, we have directed them 
to pay you a visit at Baltimore for this purpose, and to 
amicably arrange and settle this business, whom we trust 
you will receive as our representatives and as brethren. 

" Praying that our mutual love may abound yet more 
and more, and that we may ever enjoy and rejoice in each 
other's prosperity, till the whole earth is filled with the 
glory of God, we remain your truly affectionate brethren 
in Christ Jesus. 

(Signed for and in behalf of the committee.) 

"James Wood, Treasurer^ 
Joseph Benson, 
3 James Buckley, Secretary.''^ 


This letter, together with the written and verbal 
communications from the brethren above mentioned, 
was referred to a committee, and the following report, 
which was concurred in by the conference, will show 
the result of their labors : — 

" The committee appointed by the General Conference 
to confer with Messrs. Black and Bennett, delegates ap- 
pointed by the London Methodist Missionary Society to 
represent the British connection to this conference, and, 
if possible, to make an amicable adjustment of certain dif 
ferences between our Church and the British connection, 
relative to Upper and Lower Canada, beg leave to submit 
the following report, viz. : — 

" 1. Your committee have had several friendly inter- 
views with the above-mentioned delegates on those sub- 
jects, and they are happy to state that there appears to be 
an earnest desire to have all existing difficulties terminated 
to the peace and mutual satisfaction of both parties, and to 
perpetuate the Christian union and good understanding 
which have hitherto existed. 

" 2. It appears from written communications, as well as 
from verbal testimony, that unhappy dissensions have taken 
place in Montreal between certain missionaries sent (at 
the request of a few official members of the society in that 
place, in time of the last war) by the London Missionary 
Society, and some American preachers, which have ter- 
minated in the division of that society. 

" 3. Although the late hostilities between the two coun- 
tries separated, for some time, those provinces from the 
immediate superintendency of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in America, yet all the circuits (except Quebec) 
were as regularly supplied as circumstances would admit 
of with American preachers. 

"4. It furthermore appears, from written and verbal 


42 A HISTORV OF THE [1816. 

cominuiiicalions, that it is the desire of the great majority 
of the people in Upper and Lower Canada to be supplied, 
as heretofore, with preachers from the United States. 

" 5. In the two provinces there are twelve circuits and 
one station, (Montreal,) which have eleven meeting-houses, 
which have been hitherto supplied by American preachers. 

" These things being duly considered, together with the 
contiguity of those provinces to the western and northern 
parts of the United States, your committee respectfully 
submit the following resolutions : 

" Resolved by the delegates of the Annual Conference 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, in General Conference 

" 1. That we cannot, consistently with our duty to the 
societies of our charge in the Canadas, give up any part 
of them, or any of our chapels in those provinces, to the 
superintendence of the British connection. 

" 2. That a respectful letter be addressed to the London 
Methodist Missionaiy Society, explaining the reasons for 
the above resolution." 

A letter was accordingly addressed to the missionary 
committee of London, explanatory of the reasons which 
led to the conclusions stated in the above report, and 
requesting that the preachers of each connection might 
be permitted to occupy in peace their respective fields 
of labor; but, whatever might have been the pacific 
disposition of the two bodies of Methodists in Great 
Britain and the United States, and however sincere and 
ardent their desire for mutual good understanding and 
brotherly affection, there were local feelings existing in 
the societies in some places, particularly in Montreal 
and Kingston, which could not be so easily satisfied ; 
hence the society in the former place remained in a 
divided state, one party being supplied from England, 


and the other from the United States : and thus Judah 
continued to vex Ephraim, until, after a lapse of some 
years, an amicable arrangement was made between the 
British and American connection. It was beyond all 
controversy that the present state of the work required 
an additional number of bishops. Accordingly the com- 
mittee on the episcopacy reported as follows in reference 
to this subject, which was concurred in by the conference : 

" 1. It is the opinion of your committee that the state 
of the superintendency, in consequence of the ever to be 
lamented death of our venerable father. Bishop Asbury, 
and the impaired state of the health of Bishop M'Ken- 
dree, and the increasing extent of the work, is such as 
to require immediate and adequate strengthening ;" 
and hence they recommended that ^- two additional 
bishops be elected and consecrated." On May 14, 
Eiioch George and Robert Richford Roberts were 
elected by ballot, the former having fifty-seven and the 
latter fifty-five votes out of one hundred and six that 
were cast. They were accordingly consecrated in due 
form, and, after the adjournment of conference, entered 
upon their pecuhar work with zeal and energy. 

The effect of the numerous locations on the ministry, 
and the want of more efficient means for its intellectual 
improvement, induced this conference to appoint a com- 
mittee to take these subjects into consideration, and, if 
practicable, provide an adequate remedy. And as the 
report of this committee, and the action of the confer- 
ence thereon, had a very important bearing upon these 
interests, the report, as it was adopted by the conference, 
is given entire. 

" The committee of ways and means, appointed to provide 
a more ample support of the ministry among us, to prevent 

44 A HISTORY OF THE [1816. 

locations, and the admission of improper persons into the 
itinerancy, have taken the subjects committed to them 
under serious consideration. They have found, with se- 
rious concern and deep regret, that, in the present state of 
things, there exist many evils, which threaten to under- 
mine that system of itinerating preaching which, under 
the blessing of God, has been so successful in spreading 
the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

" 1. The small pittance allowed to our preachers, and, 
in many places, the inefficient means used to insure even 
that, we conceive to be one reason why so many of our 
useful ministers are induced to locate. Groaning under 
the pressure of poverty now, and looking forward to a su- 
perannuated state, without adequate means afforded them 
for a comfortable support in the decline of life, they sink 
under the melancholy prospect, and reluctantly retire from 
the field, that they may provide a morsel of bread for them- 
selves, their wives, and children. 

" 2. The many locations, from these and other causes, 
have a manifest tendency to weaken and embarrass the 
itinerancy, by obliging us to fill up the vacancies with per- 
sons not competent to the work assigned them, and to 
commit the administration, in some of its important 
branches, to the hands of young and inexperienced men. 

" 3. To the same causes we may attribute the many 
partial locations, that is, families of traveling preachers 
which are immovably fixed. Their scanty allowance fur- 
nishes an excuse (whether justifiable or not, your com- 
mittee presume not to determine) for combining farming, 
mercantile business, &c., with the ministration of God's 
word. This practice, in the opinion of your committee, 
exceedingly embarrasses the general superintendency, in 
the frequent changes which, in the discharge of its duty, 
are unavoidable. In consequence of this, either those 
whose families are thus located must be subject to distant 


removals from their families, or others must be exposed to 
the inconvenience of frequent and distant removals, to 
make way for those who are in this partially located state, 

" 4. We perceive a manifest defect among us, occa- 
sioned in some measure by the multiplicity of locations, in 
regard to ministerial qualifications. Although a collegiate 
education is not, by your committee, deemed essential to a 
gospel ministry, yet it appears absolutely necessary for 
every minister of the gospel to study to show himself ap- 
proved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be 
ashamed. Every one, therefore, who would be useful as 
a minister in the Church, should, to a sincere piety and 
laudable zeal for the salvation of souls, add an ardent de- 
sire for useful knowledge ; — he should strive by every 
lawful means t^ imbue his mind with ever)-' science which 
is intimately connected with the doctrine of salvation by 
Jesus Christ, and which will enable him to understand 
and illustrate the sacred Scriptures. But the early de- 
parture of many from the work of the ministry among us^ 
of those whose piety, zeal, talent, and mental improve- 
ment justified the expectation of their extensive usefulness 
in the Church, and the manifest indifference of some who 
remain with us to this important branch of ministerial duty, 
thus stripping the Church of some of its brightest orna- 
ments, not only exposes her nakedness, but loudly calls for 
the prompt and vigorous interference of the General Con- 
ference. To obviate these evils, and to secure to the 
Church a succession of holy, zealous, and useful minis- 
ters, becomes at this time, in the humble opinion of your 
committee, the imperious duty of this conference. To 
accomplish these very desirable objects, your committee 
beg leave to recommend the following resolutions, viz. : — 

" Resolved, 1. That it shall be the duty of the presiding 
elders and preachers to use their influence to carry the 
rule of Discipline relating to building and renting houses 

46 A HISTORY OF THE [1816. 

for accommodation of preachers and families into effect. 
In order to this, each quarterly meeting conference shall 
appoint a committee, (unless other measures have been 
adopted,) who, with the aid and advice of the preachers 
and presiding elder, shall devise such means as may seem 
tit to raise moneys for that purpose. And we furthermore 
recommend to each annual conference to make special 
inquiry of its members respecting this part of their duty. 

" 2. That those preachers who refuse to occupy the 
houses which may be provided for them on the stations 
and circuits where they are from time to time appointed, 
shall be allowed nothing for house-rent, nor receive any 
thing more than their simple quarterage for themselves, 
wives, and children, and their traveling expenses. Never- 
theless, this rule shall not apply to those preachers whose 
families are either established within the bounds of their 
circuits or stations, or are so situated that, in the judgment 
of the stewards, or the above-mentioned committee, it is 
not necessary for the benefit of the circuit to remove them. 

" 3. That that part of the Discipline which relates to 
the temporal economy of our Church be so altered as to 
make the annual allowance of preachers one hundred dol- 
lars, and that of their wives and widows one hundred 

" 4. That there be a committee appointed by the quar- 
terly meeting conference of every circuit and station, con- 
sisting of members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
whose duty it shall be to make an estimate of the amount 
necessary to furnish fuel and table expenses of the family 
or families of the preachers stationed with them, and that 
the stewards shall provide, by such means as they shall 
devise, to meet such expenses, in money or otherwise ; — 
provided that the quarterly allowance of the preachers 
shall first be paid by the stewards. 

" 5. That there be a meeting in every district of one 


Steward from each station and circuit, to be selected from 
among the stewards by the quarterly conference, whose 
duty it shall be, by and with the advice of the presiding 
elders who shall preside in such meeting, to take into 
consideration the general state of the district in regard to 
temporalities, and to furnish a house and provision for the 
presiding elders' families, in conformity to the first and 
fourth resolutions of this report. 

" In order more effectually to provide for the distressed 
traveling, superannuated, and supernumerary preachers, 
their wives, widows, and children, your committee ear- 
nestly recommend, 

" 6. That each annual conference, in such way and 
manner as they may think proper, raise a fund for these 
purposes, according to the 6th article of the 5th section 
of the temporal economy of our Church. 

" Thinking the Discipline sufficiently explicit on those 
points which relate to the Christian experience, practice, 
&-C., of preachers, your committee deem it needless to add 
any thing on these subjects. But they beg leave to re- 

" 7. That it be the duty of the bishop or bishops, or a 
committee which they may appoint in each annual con- 
ference, to point out a course of reading and study proper 
to be pursued by candidates for the ministry ; and the pre- 
siding elders, whenever a person is presented as a candi- 
date for the ministry, shall direct him to those studies 
which have been thus recommended. And before any 
such candidate shall be received into full connection, he 
shall give satisfactory evidence respecting his knowledge 
of those particular subjects which have been recommended 
to his consideration." 

The adoption of this report, it is beheved, had a salu- 
tary influence upon the ministry and membership, by 


48 A HISTORY OF THE [1816. 

exciting a spirit of liberality) and leading to a more 
vigorous action in respect to acquiring a greater amount 
of ministerial qualification. 

From that time forth a regular course of study hag 
been prescribed by the bishops for those on trial in the 
annual conferences, to which the candidates must at- 
tend, and give satisfactory evidence of their attainments, 
especially in theological science, before they can be ad- 
mitted into full membership as itinerant ministers. 
Though the course of study at first was very limited in 
some of the conferences, and the examinations compa- 
ratively superficial, it has been gradually enlarged and 
improved, so much so as to require a great compass of 
knowledge to be able to pass an approved examination. 
Still there is much wanting to give that thorough train- 
ing which is most desirable for the full and profitable 
development of the mental powers, and their energetic 
application in the field of usefulness. 

A committee of safety was also appointed, who re- 
ported that doctrines in some instances adverse to the 
standards of our Church were insinuating themselves 
among us — that the building churches with pews to 
rent or sell was gaining an ascendency in some places, 
and that the rules on dress and the manner of ministe- 
rial support were but negligently enforced : whereupon 
the following resolutions were adopted : — • 

" 1. Resolved by the delegates of the annual conferences 
in General Conference assembled, That the General Con- 
ference do earnestly recommend the superintendents to 
make the most careful inquiry in all the annual confer- 
ences, in order to ascertain whether any doctrines are 
embraced or preached contrary to our established Articles 


of Faith ; and to use their influence to prevent the exist- 
ence and circulation of all such doctrines. 

" 2. Resolved, cfec, That it be specially recommended 
to all the presiding elders and stationed and circuit preach- 
ers to take particular care that all our houses of worship 
be secured on the principles of our deed of settlement, in 
the form of Discipline. 

" 3. Resolved, &:c., That the manner of building houses 
of religious worship with pews is contrary to the rules of 
our economy, and inconsistent with the interests of our 

" 4. Resolved, &c.. That it is the opinion of this confer- 
ence that the practice of assessing and collecting taxes by 
civil law for the support of the ministers of the gospel is 
contrary to the temporal economy of our Church, and in- 
consistent with apostolic example ; that it goes to impede 
the progress of experimental religion and destroy the itine- 
rant plan. And the superintendents with all the annual 
conferences are hereby desired to take such measures as 
in their judgment will most effectually cure such an 

" 5. Resolved, (fee, That the superintendents, together 
with all the presiding elders and assistant preachers, be, 
and hereby are, earnestly requested to carry into effect, in 
their several charges, our rules on dress, family ivorship 
love-feasts, class and society meetings. 

" 6. Resolved, Slc, That no preacher having the charge 
of a circuit shall be allowed to divide or in any way to 
lessen the circuit, without the consent and advice of the 
presiding elder. 

" 7. Resolved, &c.. That it be, and hereby is, recom- 
mended to the bishops and presiding elders, in the general 
and particular oversight of their charges, to guard against 
such divisions and reductions of districts and circuits, as 
in their judgment may be inconsistent with the temporal 

Vol. III.— 3 

50 A HISTORY OF THE [1816 

and spiritual interests of our societies, and the preservation 
of the energies of our itinerant system." 

No part of this report was incorporated in the Disci- 
pUne, but it was ordered that it should be recorded on 
the journals of the several annual conferences, and, so 
far as relates to the building of churches with shps to 
rent or sell, it has remained a dead letter in many parts 
of our work. The practice of renting pews at that time 
was limited to a few places, but it has shice extended 
more and more through the eastern and some of the 
more northern conferences, tlie people pleading the ne- 
cessity of the case for a departure in this respect from, 
the primitive usage of Methodism. 

It may be regretted that the state of society requires 
us to reUnquish the mode of building churches with free 
seats ; but as it is not pretended to be in itself sinful to 
rent or sell the seats, the expediency of the measure 
must be determined by the probable utility in any given 
place of resorting to this method of providing houses of 
worship. And when the question is put, " Shall we 
have such a house or none?" as is the case in many 
parts of our country, it is believed that hesitancy should 
be at an end, and that we should be guilty of a derelic- 
tion of duty were we to refuse to avail ourselves of this 
means to provide houses in which we may preach the 
gospel to sinners. 

It is, however, admitted, that houses with free seats, 
when they can be built and paid for, and the people 
induced to occupy them, are to be preferred ; but if 
othenvise, it appears like an inexcusable pertinacity in 
so cleaving to a usage not expressly enjoined in Scrip- 
ture, as to refuse to preach the gospel and administer 


the ordinances in a house of worship merely because 
the seats are rented. 

Sundry memorials from local preachers were pre- 
sented to this General Conference, praying for an 
enlargement of their privileges : 1. To have a repre- 
sentation in the councils of the Church : 2. Be permitted 
a share in the administration of the discipline ; and, 3. 
To stipulate with the people who might wish for their 
services for a certain amount of salary. The commit- 
tee appointed to take these memorials into consideration 
reported as follows : — 

" Your committee are of opinion that the first request is 
inconsistent with the constitution of the General Confer- 
ence ; — that the second is inexpedient ; — that as to the 
third, provision is already made for the relief of local 
preachers in certain cases, and it is the opinion of the 
committee that this General Conference ought not to make 
any further provision, except as is hereinafter recom- 

" From an attentive inquiry into the state of the local 
preachers in all parts of our vast continent, we are happy 
to be able to say, that the great body of that very respecta- 
ble and useful class of our brethren are, in our judgment, 
the firm friends and supporters of our doctrines, discipline, 
and Church government ; and that by far the greater part 
of them would be much grieved at any radical changes in 
our present regulations. But upon examining those parts 
of our Discipline which respect local preachers, your 
committee beg leave to recommend the following amend- 

On this recommendation the section relating to local 
preachers was so altered as to read as follows : — 

" Before any person shall be licensed to preach as a 


52 A HISTORY OF THE [1816. 

local preacher among us, he shall bring a recommendation 
from the society or class of which he is a member, and be 
personally examined before the quarterly meeting confer- 
ence by the presiding elder, or, in his absence, by the 
preacher having the charge, touching his acquaintance 
with the doctrines of our Church, to which he shall de- 
clare his assent, together with his gifts and grace for 
preaching ; and if he be approved by the quarterly meet- 
ing conference in these respects, and they believe he will 
be generally acceptable and useful as a preacher, he shall 
then receive a license, signed by the presiding elder, or, 
in his absence, by the preacher having charge, which 
license it shall be the duty of such local preacher to have 
annually renewed." 

After a few other verbal alterations, the section pro- 
vided as follows : — 

" Whenever a local preacher shall remove from one 
circuit to another, he shall procure from the presiding 
elder of the district, or the preacher having the charge of 
the circuit, a certificate of his official standing in the 
Church at the time of his removal, without which he shall 
not be received as a local preacher in another place." 

The following item respecting the manner in whicli 
exhorters should receive authority to exercise their gifts 
was ordered to be inserted in the Discipline, and was 
so done accordingly. The preacher in charge, among 
other duties, was to have authority 

" To license such persons as he may judge proper to 
officiate as exhorters in the Church, provided no person 
shall be licensed without the consent of a leaders' meet- 
ing, or of the class of which he is a member, where no 
leaders' meeting is held ; and the exhorters so authorized 
shall be subject to the annual examination of character in 
the quarterly meeting conference, and have their license 


annually renewed by the presiding elder, or the preacher 
having the charge, if approved of by the quarterly meeting 

That part of the Discipline which relates to cucuit 
stewards was so amended as to make them responsible 
to the quarterly meeting conference " for the faithful 
performance of their duties." 

Hitherto it had been the duty of an annual confer- 
ence, if it had any surplus money on hand after paying 
its own claimants, to send it to the next conference. 
This regulation was so altered at this conference as to 
make it the duty of the annual conference to " send 
such surplus forward to that conference they judge to 
be most necessitous." 

As the two bishops who had been elected and conse- 
crated at this conference were men of families, and as 
no provision had been made in the Discipline for the 
support of such families, it was ordered that the " book 
agents, in conjunction with the book committee in 
New-York, be authorized to estimate the sum to defray 
the necessary expenses of the bishops' famiUes, for which 
they shall be authorized to draw on the editor and 
general book steward." 

Joshua Soule and Thomas Mason were elected book 
agents, and the conference renewed the order for the 
publication of the Methodist Magazine, in monthly num- 
bers of forty octavo pages each, and required each an- 
nual conference to appoint a committee of three to 
receive and forward communications, and otherwise to 
furnish materials for the work. The Magazine, how- 
ever, was not commenced till 1818, and the appoint- 
ment of these committees answered no valuable purpose, 
as but little aid was afforded by them to the editors. 


54 A HISTORY OF THE [1817. 

These include all the acts of this conference worthy 
of pubhc record, or which went to affect the general 
administration. On the 24th of May the business 
closed by adjournment, to meet again in the city of 
Baltimore, May 1, 1820. 


From the Close of the General Conference of 1816 to the Commence- 
ment of the General Conference of 1820. 

1817. There were, by an act of the foregoing Ge- 
neral Conference, two new conferences, namely, Missis- 
sippi and Missouri, added to the number, making in all 
eleven annual conferences to be attended by the three 
bishops. Though some had contended that it would 
be most convenient to divide the episcopal supervision 
so as to apportion a specified district of country to each 
bishop, yet the majority thought it most advisable to 
leave these things to be regulated by the bishops them- 
selves, as they might judge most convenient for an effi- 
cient oversight of the whole work ; and they concluded 
that this object could be accomplished most easily and 
energetically by an interchange of labors, so that each 
bishop should visit all the conferences at least once in 
the four years. This, it was contended, would best 
answer the character of a general itinerating superin- 
tendency, prevent local interests and jealousies from 
springing up, and tend most effectually to preserve that 
homogeneousness of character and reciprocity of bro- 
therly feeling by which Methodism had been and 


should be ever distinguished. The bishops accordingiy 
commenced their labors on this plan, and, as far as 
health and other existing circumstances would allow, 
steadily pursued it until the close of their quadrennial 

The "Tract Society of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church" was formed this year, by some members of 
our Church, with a view to furnish the poorer class of 
the community with religious reading. It is true that 
a small society, managed by a few pious and benevo- 
lent females, had been formed a short time previously, 
but its operations were extremely limited. The society 
now formed took a wider range, and commenced pub- 
lishing its tracts and distributing them with spirit and 
energy. It has gone on from that time to the present, 
increasing the number and variety of its tracts, and en- 
larging the sphere of its operations ; and has done much 
good by diffusing abroad the trutlis of the gospel, by 
issuing doctrinal, experimental, and practical illustra- 
tions of the Holy Scriptures. 

This method of scatteiing among the great mass of 
the people, in the cheapest possible form, and in a small 
compass, religious knowledge, was begun by Mr. Wes- 
ley at an early period of his ministry, and was one of 
the means to which he resorted to effect the reformation 
and salvation of the world. Under date of Dec. 18, 
1745, he says : " We had within a short time given 
away some thousands of little tracts among the common 
people. And it pleased God hereby to provoke others 
to jealousy. Insomuch that the lord mayor had ordered 
a large quantity of papers, dissuading from cursing and 
swearing, to be printed and distributed to the train- 
band. And this day An Earnest Appeal to Repent- 


56 A HISTORY OF THE [1817. 

ance was given at every church doorj in or near 
London, to every person who came out ; and one left at 
the house of every householder who was absent from 
church. I doubt not but God gave a blessing there- 
with." Here was an example for the distribution of 
tracts long before any tract society existed either in 
Great Britain or America ; and Mr. Wesley continued 
the practice from that time forward with unexampled 
diligence, furnishing those who were willing to aid him 
in this good method of " sowing the seed of the king- 
dom" with short and pithy tracts, such as " A Word to 
the Drunkard," "A Word to the Swearer," to the 
"Smuggler," to the "Sabbath-breaker," (fee, <fec., for 
gratuitous distribution. 

This method, so admirably adapted to bring religious 
instruction within the reach of all classes of men, but 
more especially the poor, and those who have little time 
and less inclination to read, was afterward adopted by 
Miss Hannah More, by which she contributed much 
to check the progress of infidelity, which about that 
time threatened to deluge the land. Following these 
examples, others had resorted to the same means for 
diffusing religious truth more effectually among the 
people, both in Europe and America. And, as we have 
before seen, Bishop Asbuiy had done much b)^ his in- 
dividual exertions in the same way. From a know- 
ledge of the good effects resulting from this practice at 
the time of which we now speak, a combination of ef- 
fort was made by foiming the Tract Society of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, which has resulted most 
beneficially to the best interests of mankind. After a 
few years of experiment, the whole concern, by an ami- 
cable arrangement, was transferred to the book agency, 


and thenceforward it has been conducted as a part and 
parcel of that establishment. 

The records within my reach do not enable me to 
notice any particular enlargement of the work in the 
new countries, nor special revivals in other places. 
There was, however, a gradual increase in many 
places, and an extension of the circuits in others, as 
may be seen by an inspection of the numbers in Church 

Fifty-two preachers located this year, fourteen were 
returned supernumerary, thirty-eight superannuated, two 
had been expelled, one withdrawn, and five had died. 

Among those who had entered their rest the past 
year was the Rev. Jesse Lee. He was born in Prince 
George's county, in the state of Virginia, in 1758. His 
parents were respectable, and they gave him that sort 
of education which it was common in those days to be- 
stow on boys not destined for any learned profession. 
In the fifteenth year of his age he was happily brought 
to the knowledge of the truth, and made a partaker of 
the pardoning mercy of God. In the year 1783, one 
year before the organization of our Church, he entered 
the traveling ministry, and continued in it with great 
zeal and much success till his death, which happened 
on the 12th of August, 1816. 

As the preceding pages of this History have recorded 
much respecting his early labors in the cause of Christ, 
particularly in New England, it is not necessary to re- 
capitulate tliem in this place. The last station he filled 
was Annapohs, the metropolis of Maryland. While 
here he attended a camp meeting near Hillsborough, on 
the Eastern Shore of Maryland, where he preached 
twice with great acceptance and power; and in the 
3* 3 

58 A HISTORY OF THE [1817. 

ev^ening of the day on which he preached his last ser- 
mon he was seized witli a chill and fever, from which 
he never recovered. During this time he frequently 
expressed himself in terms of unshaken confidence in 
his God, and on one occasion shouted aloud, " Glory ! 
Glory ! Glory ! Hallelujah ! Jesus reigns !" 

On the same evening he spoke for nearly twenty 
minutes with great dehberation, requesting, among 
other things, that a letter should be written to his bro- 
ther, to let him know that he died happy in the Lord, 
and also that he was fully satisfied with the kind treat- 
ment he had received from brother Sellers, at whose 
house he died. 

It seems that there had existed between Jesse Lee 
and Bishop M'Kendree some difficulty, by which a de- 
gree of ahenation of affection had taken place, much to 
the grief of their mutual friends. Before, however, the 
former closed his eyes in death, he said to a friend of 
both, " Give my respects to Bishop M'Kendree, and tell 
him that I die in love with all the preachers ; that I 
love him, and that he lives in my heart." With these 
sentiments of brotherly love in his heart, and a con- 
sciousness of the peace of God overflowing his soul, this 
veteran of the cross and minister of Christ fell asleep in 
Jesus, at about half past seven o'clock in the evening 
of the twelfth of September, 1816, aged fifty-eight years, 
having been in the itinerant ministry about thirty-three 

When Jesse Lee joined the Methodists they were 
few in number, much despised and persecuted, and had 
therefore to contend with many sorts of opposition. Yet 
in the midst of these things he boldly espoused the 
cause, and early displayed that independence of mind 


for which he was ever afterward characterized. That 
same love of Christ which was shed abroad in his 
heart by the Holy Spirit at his conversion, impelled 
him forward in the path of duty as a minister of Jesus 
Christ, and enabled him to bear up under the various 
sorts of reproach which were usually cast upon Method- 
ist preachers in those days, and to persevere through 
all in the discharge of his high duties as an ambassador 
of God. 

We do not, indeed, rank him among ministers of the 
most eminent talents as a preacher. His education 
was limited, his reading confined to a small circle of 
authors, and his mind was left principally to its own 
resources in handhng the subjects which came up for 
investigation. Yet his talents were respectable, and 
his burning zeal in the cause of Christ compensated, in 
some measure at least, for the lack of those expanded 
views which miglit have been acquired by a more ex- 
tended and critical knowledge of literature and science. 
But being possessed of strong common sense, of a ready 
wit, and sound understanding, and being brought, by 
his extensive travels, into contact with various classes of 
men, of different views and habits, he treasured up from 
his daily experience and observation much useful 
knowledge, of which he could avail himself in time of 
need, in defense of the truths he preached, and the 
plans of procedure he had adopted. This also gave 
him a deep insight into the human character, and quali- 
fied him to adapt himself with admirable facility to the 
variety of exigences which arose before him. 

His preaching was chiefly of an experimental and 
practical character ; and had he not sometimes lowered 
the dignity of the pulpit by facetious sayings, more 


60 A HISTORY OF THE [1817. 

calculated to " court a grin, or woo a smile," than they 
were to inspire respect " for that holy place, the pulpit," 
he might be more safely held up for the imitation of 
others. Though we by no means condemn an inno- 
cent sally of wit, nor that satire which dresses up vice 
and folly in their own native deformity, yet, whenever 
either of these is so far indulged as to leave the mind 
barren, or to divert the soul from the spirit of devotion, 
it evinces the necessity of laying a restraint upon this 
witty disposition of the mind, and of making it bow to 
the more sober dictates of manly truth and logical 

It has also been objected to Mr. Lee, that he evinced 
an ambitious mind ; and his disappointment at not 
being elected a bishop at the time Richard Whatcoat 
was chosen to that office has been adduced as an evi- 
dence that he was ambitious of office. That he had 
reason to expect such an appointment must be granted. 
That Bishop Asbury had designated him, at one time, 
as a proper person for that office, is equally manifest. 
And hence, that he suffered some degree of mortification 
at his non-election, it is reasonable to suppose ; and that 
this might have created some uneasiness in his mind, 
and have biased his judgment and feelings toward 
those who were preferred before him, is not at all un- 
Ukely. But these things by no means prove the exist- 
ence of an unholy ambition, or an improper thirst for 
human fame. A man may be very improperly de- 
prived of his rights by the unjust imputations of others, 
by intrigue, jealousy, and a mean compliance with the 
dictates of the spirit of rivalry. Without, however, pre- 
tending to decide whether or not Jesse Lee should have 
been elected to the office of a bishop, he may have 


thought himself justly entitled to that distinction, and 
hence, from a simple desire to be more extensively use- 
ful, he might have desired it without subjecting himself 
to the charge of indulging in a criminal ambition. That 
he was ambitious to do good on the most extensive 
scale is manifest from the whole tenor of his conduct, 
from the sacrifices he made in the cause of Christ, and 
the manner in which he employed his time and talents. 

But whatever defects the keen eye of criticism may 
have discovered in his character or conduct, they must 
be ranked among those venial faults which are common 
to human beings — defects of the head, not of the heart ; 
of education, and not from moral or intellectual obli- 
quity. The integrity of his heart, the uprightness of 
his deportment, and his indefatigable labors in the best 
of all causes, effectually shield him from all imputa- 
tions of moral delinquency, and place him high on the 
pedestal of honor among his brethren of that age of 

He, indeed, opened the way for the introduction of 
Methodism in many new places, in doing which he had 
to contend with a variety of difficulties of a peculiar 
character ; and the firm and prudent manner in which 
he encountered and overcame those difficulties evinced 
at once his moral courage, the purity of his motives, 
and the strength of his understanding. In New-Eng- 
land especially, where the people were generally well 
instructed on religious subjects, and w^iere he frequently 
came in contact w^ith ministers of other denominations 
whose doctrinal views differed, in some important 
points, from his own, he was called upon to exercise all 
his ingenuity and patience in defending himself against 
his assailants, and in planting the standard of Method- 

62 A HISTORY OF THE [1817. 

ism in that land of the pilgrims. And this was one of 
the best schools in which a minister could be educated. 
Coming in collision with error in all its various hues, 
with folly and vice in all the shapes they generally as- 
sume, whether in open profanity, or of a secret, dis- 
guised infidelity, hypocrisy, and " cunning craftiness," a 
minister must be armed at all points to be able effectu- 
ally to ward off the attacks of his opponents, to unmask 
the hypocrite, to detect the sophistry of infidelity, and 
to establish the truth upon a firm foundation. Yet this 
was the work which Jesse Lee, and others engaged 
with him in that day, had to perform. He stood alone 
against a host. He manfully fought the battles of the 
Lord, and came off " more than a conqueror." Hence 
his name is remembered with gratitude and veneration 
by the men of that generation, w^ho bore witness to his 
self-denying zeal and persevering efforts to do them 

His preaching was not distinguished by profound 
depth of thought, by a regular chain of argumentation, 
or by any sudden flights of oratory, but by a gentle flow 
of language, by apposite appeals to Scripture, by apt 
illustrations from experience and observation, and often 
by anecdotes which he had treasured up from his ex- 
tensive travels and social intercourse with mankind. 
He generally addressed himself to the heart, and sought 
to effect a reformation there, knowing full well that a 
reformation of life w^ould necessarily follow: and he 
Won the affections of the sinner to Jesus Christ by the 
power of truth addressed to him in the psrsuasive lan- 
guage of the gospel, rather than by awakening his 
fears by the terrors of the law. 

There was an engaging variety in his sermons. 


Having surveyed, as far as he was able, the whole field 
of theological truth, he was qualified to present it in all 
its various aspects, ^vithout tiring the hearer with a duU 
monotony of the same thing over and over again. As 
a writer, Jesse Lee is more distinguished for his industry 
in collating and his fidehty in recording facts, than 
he is for the chasteness and elegance of his style. 
There is, however, a pleasing simplicity in the plain 
and unvarnished manner in which his history is com- 
posed, far more to be commended than that labored and 
pompous style of writing with which some authors en- 
deavor to decomte their pages. Jesse Lee was the first 
historian of American Methodism. As such, he deserves 
the thanks of the Church for the faithful and accurate 
manner in which he has recorded the events of his day, 
though it is evident that his judgment was biased, in 
some instances, either by personal prejudice, or by too 
great a tenacity for his own peculiar views. It must 
be confessed, too, that his histor}^ is wanting in the va- 
riety of incident and copiousness of detail which are 
essential to excite interest and to satisfy the desire of 
those readers who wish for full information respecting 
the character, doings, and progress of this branch of the 
church of Christ. 

His personal appearance was respectable and com- 
manding ; his countenance intelligent, and marked 
with that shrewdness by which he was peculiarly dis- 
tinguished ; and often a pleasant smile played upon his 
lips, which gave an air of cheerfulness to his conversa- 
tion with his friends. As he advanced in life he be- 
came quite corpulent, so much so that it seemed a labor 
for him either to walk or ride. This, however, did not 
arise from a luxurious mode of living, for he was ex- 


64 A HISTORY or THE [1817. 

ceedingly temperate in his habits, as well as plain in 
his manners and dress. 

' Such was Jesse Lee, as nearly as I am able to de- 
scribe him. If the portraiture be faulty, it must be 
attributed to want of skill in the painter, and not fidehty 
in the heart or hand which guided tbe pencil. As such 
he stands enrolled among those early Methodist preach- 
ers who contributed by their deep piety, their sacrifices, 
and labors, to lay the foundation of that superstructure 
which has since arisen in such beauty and grandeur in 
this western world. And having " finished his course, 
and kept the faith," he is now reaping the reward 
of his sacrifices and toils in the world of glory ever- 

Samuel Waggoner^ Peter Wyatt^ John Van 
tSchoick, and ^Stephen Richmond had also filled up the 
measure of their days in usefulness, and gone to their 
home in peace. 

It seems proper to record here the death of another 
eminent servant of God who had exchanged worlds 
during the past year, namely, the Rev. George Shad- 
ford. As he had devoted several years to the service 
of his Master in America, justice requires that some 
notice should be taken of him in the history of our 

He was born near Lincolnshire, at a place called 
fSlotterj in England, January 19, 1739. He was edu- 
cated in the principles of the Established Church ; was 
early taught by his parents to read the Holy Scriptures, 
the necessity of prayer, as well as to repeat his cate- 
chism ; and at a suitable age was confirmed by the 
bishop, and received the sacrament of the Lord's sup- 
per. Though he was thus taught the form of godliness, 


he remained unchanged in heart until he was in his 
twenty-fourth year, when, after various struggles against 
sin and error, he was brought into gospel liberty by the 
instrumentality of the Methodist ministry. He was 
soon after led forth into the ministry of the word, and in 
1768 joined the itinerant ministry under the direction 
of Mr. Wesley. It soon appeared, by the blessed effects 
of his ministrations, that a dispensation of the gospel 
had been committed to him. After continuing in this 
work for about four years, during which time God had 
given him the most indubitable marks of his approba- 
tion, hearing Captain Webb speak of the state of things 
in America, and the great want of preachers, Mr. Shad- 
ford offered his services for this new field of labor. His 
offer being accepted by Mr. Wesley, in company with 
Mr. Thomas Rankin, on Good Friday, he set sail for 
America, and after a voyage of eight weeks safely 
landed in Philadelphia, where he was most cordially 
received by the people. He immediately entered upon 
his work, and God attended his word with his blessing. 
He visited Trenton and various parts of New- Jersey, 
and then came to New- York. In all these places God 
gave him seals to his ministry. 

When he was about leaving the city of Philadelphia 
the following remarkable circumstance happened, which 
is related in his own words : — 

" When I went," said he, "to the inn where my horse 
was, and had just entered into the yard, I observed a man 
fixing his eyes upon me, and looking earnestly, until he 
seemed ashamed, and blushed very much. At length he 
came up to me, and abruptly said, ' Sir, I saw you in a 
dream last night. When 'I saw your back as you came 
into the yard I thought it was you ; but now that I see 

66 A HISTORY OF THE [1817. 

your face, I am sure that you are the person. I have 
been wandering up and down till now, seeking you.' * Saw 
me in a dream,' said I, ' what do you mean V * Sir,' said 
he, ' I did, I am sure I did : and yet I never saw you with 
my bodily eyes before. Yesterday in the afternoon I left 
this city and went as far as Schuylkill river, intending to 
cross it, but began to be uneasy, and could not go over it ; 
I therefore returned to this place, and last night, in my 
sleep, saw you stand before me ; when a person from 
another world bade me seek for you until I found you, and 
said you would tell me what I must do to be saved. He 
said also that one particular mark by which I might know 
you was, that you preached in the streets and lanes of the 
city. ' Having spoken this, he immediately asked, ' Pray, 
sir, are not you a minister V I said, ' Yes, I am a preacher 
of the gospel ; and it is true that I preach in the streets 
and lanes of the city, which no other preacher in Phila- 
delphia does. I preach also every Sunday morning, at 
nine o'clock, in Newmarket.' I then asked him to step 
across the way to a friend's house, where I asked him 
from whence he came. He answered, ' From the Jerseys.' 
I asked whether he had any family ; he said, ' Yes, a wife 
and children.' I asked where he was going ; he said he 
did not know, I likewise asked, ' Does your wife know 
where you are V He said, ' No ; the only reason why I 
left home was, I had been very uneasy and unhappy for 
half a year past, and could rest no longer, but came to 

" I replied, ' I first advise you to go back to your wife 
and children, and take care of them, by obeying God in 
the order of his providence. It is unnatural,' said I, * to 
leave them in this manner ; for even the birds of the air 
provide for their young. Secondly, you say you are un- 
happy ; therefore the thing you want is religion ; the love 
of God, and of all mankind ; righteousness, peace, and joy 


in the Holy Ghost. When this takes possession of your 
heart, so as to destroy your evil tempers, and root out the 
love of the world, anger, pride, self-will, and unbelief, then 
you will be happy. The way to obtain this is, you must 
forsake all your sins, and heartily believe in the Lord Je- 
sus Christ. When you return to the Jerseys, go to hear 
the Methodist preachers constantly, and pray to the Lord 
to bless the word ; and if you heartily embrace it you will 
become a happy man.' 

" While I was exhorting him tears ran plentifully from 
his eyes. We then kneeled down to pray, and I was 
enabled to plead and intercede with much earnestness for 
his soul. When we arose from our knees I shook him by 
the hand : he wept much, and had a broken heart ; but did 
not know how to part with me. He then set out to go to 
his wife in the Jerseys, and I saw him no more ; but I 
trust I shall meet him in heaven." 

Of his subsequent labors in America, and the great 
success which attended his preaching, the reader will 
find an ample account in the first volume of this His- 
tory, book ii, chapter 1. The following incident is 
related as the effect of his labors while in Virginia. 
Concerning the new converts who were brought to the 
knowledge of the truth during that great and glorious 
work, Mr. Shadford says — 

" Among these was a dancing-master, who came first to 
hear on a week-day, dressed in scarlet ; and came several 
miles again on Sunday, dressed in green. After preaching 
he spoke to me, and asked if I could come to that part 
where he lived some day in the week. I told him I could 
not, as I was engaged every day. I saw him again at 
preaching that week, and another man of his profession. 
When I was going to preach one morning, a friend said to 
me, ' Mr. Shadford, you spoiled a fine dancing-master last 


68 A HISTORY OF THE [1817. 

week. He was so cut under preaching, and feels such a 
load of sin upon his conscience, that he moves very hea- 
vily ; nay, he cannot shake his heels at all. He had a 
profitable school, but hath given it up, and is determined 
to dance no more. He intends now to teach reading, 
writing, and arithmetic' I said, ' It is very well ; what is 
his name ?' He said, * He is called Madcap P I said, 
* A very proper name for a dancing-master ;' but I found 
this was only a nickname, for his real name was Metcalf. 
He began to teach school, joined our society, found the 
guilt and load of his sin removed from his conscience, and 
the pardoning love of God shed abroad in his heart. He 
lived six or seven years after, and died a great witness for 
God, having been one of the most devoted men in our 

In 1778 Mr. Shadford, not willing to throw off his 
allegiance to the British government, and not being 
permitted to remain here in peace Avithout taking the 
oath required by the law of the state of Maryland, to 
be an obedient citizen of this country, took his depart- 
ure for England. After his return he continued with 
great diligence in the work of an itinerant minister, 
being everywhere received as a messenger of God, until, 
worn down with labor and weakened by disease, he 
was compelled, in 1791, to take a supernumerary rela- 
tion. He did not, however, bury himself in obscurity, 
or lead a life of useless inactivity, but persevered in 
bis work as his strength would permit the remainder 
of his days. His biographer gives the following ac- 
count of his last hours, which is an instructive comment 
upon a life of piety and devotion to God : — 

*' On Monday, February 28, Mr. Shadford dined with 
his affectionate friend Mr. Blunt, in company with his 
brethren. He then appeared in tolerable health, and ate a 


hearty dinner. In the course of the week he felt indis- 
posed, from a complication of diseases. He was under 
no apprehension at this time that his departure was so 
near, as he had frequently felt similar affections, and, by 
timely applications to his medical friend Mr. Bush, had 
been relieved. On Friday, March 1, he with some diffi- 
culty met his class, and afterward said it was impressed 
on his mind he should never meet it more. On the Satur- 
day afternoon I called to inquire about his health, when 
he said, with unusual fervor, 

' To patient faith the prize is sure ; 
And all that to the end endure 
The cross, shall wear the crown.' 

His mind seemed fully occupied with the great and inte- 
resting realities of eternity, and he had no greater pleasure 
than in meditating and talking of the redeeming love of God. 
On the Lord's day morning, March 10, before I went to 
the chapel I called to see him, and found he had slept 
most of the night ; from this we flattered ourselves the 
complaint had taken a favorable turn, and were in hopes 
of his recovery. But when the doctor called he said the 
disease was fast approaching to a crisis, and it was impos- 
sible for him to recover. Upon this infoniiation Mr. Shad- 
ford broke out into a rapture, and exclaimed, ' Glory be to 
God !' Upon the subject of his acceptance with God, and 
assurance of eternal glory, he had not the shadow of a 
doubt. While he lay in view of an eternal world, and 
was asked if all was clear before him, he replied, ' I bless 
God, it is ;' and added, ' Victory ! victory ! through the 
blood of the Lamb !' When Mrs. Shadford was sitting by 
him, he repeated, ' What siurprise ! what surprise !' L sup- 
pose he was reflecting upon his deliverance from a cor- 
ruptible body, and his entrance into the presence of his 
God and Saviour, where every scene surpasses all imagi- 


70 A HISTORY OF THE [1817. 

nation, and the boldest fancy returns wearied and unsatis- 
fied in its loftiest flights. Two friends, who were anxious 
for his recovery, called upon him, and when they inquired 
how he was, he replied, ' I am going to my Father's house, 
and find religion to be an angel in death.' A pious lady, 
in the course of the day, was particularly desirous of see- 
ing him, and she asked him to pray for her : he inquired, 
* What shall I pray for V She said, ' That I may meet you 
in heaven, to cast ray blood-bought crown at the feet of 
my Redeemer:' he said, with great energy, ' The prize is 
sure.' His pious sayings were numerous, and will long 
live in the recollection of many ; but a collection of them 
all would swell this article beyond due limits. His last 
words were, ' I'll praise, I'll praise, I'll praise ;' and a little 
after he fell asleep in Jesus, on March 11, 1816, in the 
78th year of his age." 

The following remarks upon his character are as 
just as they are true : — 

" For nearly fifty- four yearsMr. Shadford had enjoyed 
a sense of the divine favor. His conduct and conversation 
sufficiently evinced the truth of his profession. For many 
years he had professed to enjoy that perfect love which 
excludes all slavish fear ; and if Christian tempers and a 
holy walk are proofs of it, his claims were legitimate. 
Maintaining an humble dependance upon the merits of the 
Redeemer, he steered clear of both Pharisaism and Anti- 
nomianisra : his faith worked by love. Truly happy him- 
self, there was nothing forbidding in his countenance, sour 
in his manners, or severe in his observations. His com- 
pany was always agreeable, and his conversation pro- 
fitable. If there was any thing stern in his behavior, 
it Avas assumed, to silence calumniators and religious 
gossips. In short, he was a man of prayer, and a man of 


" His abilities as a preacher were not above mediocrity ; 
yet he was a very useful laborer in the vineyard of the 
Lord. In illustrating the doctrines of the gospel he was 
simple, plain, and clear. His discourses, though not la- 
bored, were methodical, full of Scriptural phraseology, 
delivered v/ith pathos, and accompanied with the blessing 
of God. He did not perplex his hearers with abstruse 
reasoning and metaphysical distinctions, but aimed to feed 
them with the bread of life ; and instead of sending them 
to a dictionary for an explanation of a difficult word, he 
pointed them to the Lamb of God which taketh away the 
sin of the world. 

" Mr. Shadford was free and generous. His little an- 
nual income, managed with a strict regard to economy, 
supplied his wants, and left a portion for the poor and 
needy. In visiting the sick, while he assisted them by 
his prayers and advice, he cheerfully administered to their 
wants. He spent no idle time in needless visits or un- 
meaning chit-chat ; and though many of his kind friends 
in Frome would have considered it a high favor if he could 
have been prevailed upon to partake of their bounty, yet 
he always declined it, except once a week, at the hospita- 
ble table of his generous friend Mr. Blunt, where he gene- 
rally met the preachers with some part of their families. 
He loved his brethren in the ministry ; and, like an old 
soldier who had survived many a campaign, he felt a plea- 
sure in retracing the work of God, in which he had been 
engaged for more than half a century. He claimed it as 
a right, and deemed it a privilege, to have the preachers 
to take tea with him every Saturday afternoon. There 
was nothing sordid in his disposition, and, as far as I could 
ever observe, covetousness formed no part of his character. 
He considered the rule of his Saviour as having a peculiar 
claim upon his attention : * Lay up for yourselves treasure 
in heaven.' 


72 A HISTORY OF THE [1817. 

" His patience and resignation to the will of God were 
such, that he has left few superiors in those passive graces. 
Some years since he lost his eyesight, and continued in 
this state of affliction for several years ; but instead of 
murmuring at this dispensation of Providence, he bore it 
with Christian fortitude. This did not altogether prevent 
his usefulness ; for though the sphere of his action was 
circumscribed by it, he could still pray with the afflicted, 
converse with the pious, and meet several classes in the 
week. In this state he was advised to submit to an ope- 
ration for the recovery of his sight. The trial proved suc- 
cessful ; and when the surgeon said, 'Sir, now you will 
have the pleasure of seeing to use your knife and fork,' 
I\Ir. Shadford feelingly replied, ' Doctor, I shall have a 
greater pleasure ; that of seeing to read my Bible.' This 
luxury he enjoyed ; for when he was permitted to use his 
eyesight, the first thing he did was to read the word of life 
for three hours, reading and weeping with inexpressible 
joy. During the w^hole of his last short illness he be- 
trayed no symptoms of uneasiness, but cheerfully submitted 
to the will of God. Through the last few years of his life 
he glided smoothly down the stream of time. The assi- 
duous attention of Mrs. Shadford to all his wants, her sym- 
pathy in the moments of his pain, and unwearied attempts, 
either to prevent his sufferings or lessen their force, greatly 
tended to soften them down. She has lost a pious and an 
affectionate husband, and the Methodist society in Frome 
one of its best members." 

Numbers in the Church. 

Whites. Colored. Total. Preachers. 

This year 181,442 43,411 224,853 716 
Last year 171,931 42,304 214,235 695 

Increase 9,511 1,107 10,618 21 



This year marks a favorable epoch in the history of 
our Chiirchj by the recommencement of the Methodist 
Magazine, the first number of which was pubhshed by 
J. Soule and T. Mason, in January, 1818. As has al- 
ready been remarked, the General Conference of 1812 
ordered the resumption of this work, but the order was 
never executed. The order was renewed in 1816, yet 
from some cause it was not recommenced until this 
year. Its appearance, even at this late period, was 
hailed, by the friends of Uterature and religion, as the 
harbinger of brighter days to our Zion, as it promised 
to become a medium of information and instruction to 
our people generally, and a permanent record of those 
facts and incidents which might throw light upon our 
history in a future day. 

As the issuing of this work was entering on an un- 
trodden path by those who were to guide its course and 
watch over its destinies, it is no wonder that its editor, 
the Rev. Joshua Soule, felt some anxiety for its suc- 
cess, and a trembling sense of the responsibilities he was 
about to assume. These he expressed, in the preface to 
the first numbej*, in the following language : — 

" In publishing this periodical, the editors feel all those 
sensibihties which arise from a conviction that its merits 
are to be tested under the inspection of an enlightened 
community. The care and labor inseparable from the 
agency of the Book Concern forbid our devoting as much 
time and application to the selection and arrangement of 
materials for publication in the Magazine as its nature and 
importance demand. But notwithstanding these embar- 
rassments exist, we trust the work will be found both use- 
ful and entertaining to the real friends of Zion." 

The design of the work, and the manner in which 
Vol. III,--4 

74 A HISTORY OF THE [1818 

it was proposed to cany it into execution, were thus 
announced: — 

" The great design of this publication is to circulate re- 
ligious knowledge, a design which embraces the highest 
interests of rational existence, as the sum of individual and 
social happiness increases in a scale of proportion with 
the increase of spiritual light and information. 

" In the execution of this design the strictest care will 
be taken to guard the purity and simplicity of the doctrines 
of the gospel against the innovations of superstition on the 
one hand, and of false philosophy on the other. 

" In admitting controversial subjects into this work, the 
heat of party zeal and personal crimination will be care- 
fully avoided." 

As before said, the appearance of this work gave 
great satisfaction to the most enlightened and intelligent 
friends of our communion, and hence a commendable 
zeal was exemplified in procuring subscribers, that it 
might have as wide a circulation as possible among the 
people of our charge ; and I believe that not less than 
ten thousand were procured the first year, though its 
circulation in subsequent years did not answer the ex- 
pectations raised by this promising commencement. 

An effort was made last year to resuscitate the cause 
of education among us. Dr. Samuel K. Jennings, 
aided by several benevolent and public spirited indivi- 
duals in the city of Baltimore, laid tlie foundation of a 
literary institution, denominated the Asbu?y College; 
and it went into operation under apparently fa\'orable 
auspices, an account of which was publislied in the 
March number of the Methodist Magazine for this year. 
With this account, however, the friends of education, 
who estimated things as they are, were not much 


gratified, as it seemed to promise more than could be 
rationally expected, and was rather calculated to blazon 
forth the attainments of the professors than to enlighten 
the public by a sober statement of facts. 

It continued for a short time, and then, greatly to the 
disappointment and mortification of its friends, went 
down as suddenly as it had come up, and Asbury Col- 
lege lives only in the recollection of those who rejoiced 
over its rise and mourned over its fall — a fatahty which 
had hitherto attended all attempts to estabhsh hterary 
institutions among us. 

This year was distinguished by some powerful revi- 
vals of rehgion. In the city of Baltimore the Rev. Ste- 
phen G. Roszel gives an account of one of the most 
extensive and encouraging revivals ever beheld in that 
city. It was preceded by observing days of fasting and 
prayer, and began at Fell's Point, whence it spread 
throughout the entire city, in the progress of which 
nearly one thousand souls were brought into church 
fellowship. The subjects of this great work were from 
twelve to eighty and even ninety years of age, many 
of whom were heads of families, of respectable standing 
and influence in society, and others in the bloom of life, 
young men and maidens of promising talents, who 
became pillars in the Church. The work entered 
the penitentiary, and quite a number of the convicts 
became subjects of the grace of life. Such was the im- 
pression made upon the public mind by this powerful 
reformation, that even those who were not its immedi- 
ate subjects were awed into silent submission, being 
constrained to acknowledge the hand of God. 

In many other places also, in the bounds of the New- 
York and New-England conferences, there were gra- 


76 A HISTORY OF THE [1818 

cious outpourings of the Spirit of God, and great was 
the rejoicing of happy believers over the conversion of 
penitent sinners. Southold, on Long Island, and some 
circuits within the bounds of the Kennebec district, in 
Maine, and other places wliich might be named, were 
favored with manifestations of the power and grace of 
God in the awakening and conversion of sinners. 

In Upper Canada, particularly on the Augusta, Bay 
of duinte, Hallo well, and Niagara circuits, there was a 
great ingathering of souls into the fold of Christ, among 
whom were several Roman Catholics, and eight per- 
sons who were over sixty years of age. This work 
commenced at an annual conference held at Elizabeth- 
town in June, 1817, the first ever held in that province, 
and thence spread in a glorious manner through the 
above-mentioned circuits, bowing the hearts of hun- 
dreds, young and old, and in some instances whole fa- 
milies, to the yoke of Jesus Christ. During the pro- 
gress of this great work about one thousand souls were 
brought from darkness to light, and added to the Church. 

We have heretofore seen that camp meetings, by 
reason of the irregularities which brought them in(o 
discredit, gradually declined in Kentucky, and were in- 
deed generally abandoned for several years, especially 
in the central part of the state. Their usefulness, hov/- 
ever, in other parts of the country, induced some of the 
friends of the cause to make an effort to introduce them 
again into the interior of Kentucky. The Rev. Le 
Roy Cole, who joined the traveling ministry as early as 
1777, had located and moved into Clarke county, Ky. ; 
but, being much devoted to the work of God, he had 
re-entered the itinerancy, and was again zealously en- 
gaged in promoting revivals. This year he appointed 


a camp meeting in the neighborhood of Cynthiana, in 
Harrison county. For the first and second days every 
thing tended to discourage them — the rain descended in 
torrents, and a company of rude young men came on 
the ground, with bottles of whisky in their pockets, 
evidently determined on mischief. The friends of reli- 
gion, however, persevered in their work, and on Satur- 
day night there was a mighty display of the convincing 
power of God. Those very young men, who came for 
sport, became much alarmed; some, throwing away 
their whisky bottles, fell upon theii* knees in prayer, 
while others ran into the woods, to escape, if possible, 
from their fears ; but even here their cries for mercy tes- 
tified to the deep anguish of their souls. This was the 
commencement of a great revival of reUgion in that part 
of the country, which eventuated in the conversion of 
about four hundred souls in Cynthiana and its vicinity, 
under the ministry of Absalom Hunt, Le Roy Cole, and 
others, who assisted them in their work. From this 
the reformation afterward spread its hallowing influence 
in various directions through the country, and camp 
meetings regained their lost character in that part of 
Kentucky. It is, indeed, said, that during this great 
and good work several traveling preachers were raised 
up, who have since distinguished themselves for useful- 
ness in the Church. 

The general superintendency of the Church, as has 
been seen in the account given of the General Confer- 
ence of 1816, was now committed to three hands, all 
of whom entered upon their work with commendable 
zeal and diligence, travehng through the length and 
breadth of theii- charge, alternately changing with each 
other, so that each could pass through his great circuit at 


78 A HISTORY OF THE [1818. 

least once in four years. Bishop M'Kendree, however, 
enjoyed but a feeble state of health, and could not, 
therefore, render that efficient service which was desira- 
ble. But his colleagues were comparatively young and 
vigorous, their labors incessant, and their services highly 
appreciated by the Church generally. 

Of the living it would be unseemly to speak in terms 
of fulsome flattery, while of the dead the truth may be 
told without the fear of censure for either praise or dis- 
praise. Of Bishop M'Kendree w^e have already spoken, 
while giving an account of his election to office. Bishop 
George was a man singularly devoted to God, of great 
natural eloquence, and his preaching was " in the de- 
monstration of the Spirit and power ;" and wherever he 
went he diffused the spirit of piety and of Christian and 
ministerial zeal among preachers and people. And it 
is enough to say that his colleague. Bishop Roberts, 
gave equal evidence of his strong attachment to the 
cause he had espoused, and general satisfaction to his 
brethren by the manner in which he discharged his 
duties. In the hands of such men the government was 
administered with fidelity, the conferences attended with 
punctuality, and the union, peace, and prosperity of the 
Church generally secured and promoted. 

But though the health of Bishop M'Kendree w^as 
delicate, he was enabled to move around among the 
churches, and to discharge a portion of the duties of the 
superintendency. This year he traveled through the 
southern and western states, extending his visits to 
Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Mississippi, and Missouri, in 
which he passed through several tribes of Indians. 
Though his bodily infirmities were such that his friends 
had to assist him in mounting and dismounting his 


horse, yet his zeal for God and perishing souls impelled 
him forward, and enabled him to triumph over all the 
difficulties of his journey, and to perform, with such as- 
sistance as he could procure, the duties of his office. 
Such, however, was his feebleness when he came to the 
Tennessee conference, that he had to be taken from 
his bed and supported by two preachers while he per- 
formed the ordination services, which he did on the camp 
ground where the exercises were held on the sabbath. 
The rest of his journey w^as pursued in a Hke state of 
feebleness and pain, and his sufferings were heightened 
by his being obliged to lodge in the woods eight or ten 
nights while passing through the Choctaw and Chicka- 
saw nations of Indians. In these labors he was borne 
up by a consciousness of the divine approbation, and 
cheered by the good countenance and affectionate atten- 
tions of his brethren and friends. 

Fifty were located, seventeen returned supernume- 
rary, thirty-eight superannuated, and five, namely, 
William Patridge, Anthony JSetiter, Hejiry Padgett^ 
Hezekiah Harryman^ and Gad i^mith, had died in 
peace. A strong testimony in favor of all these is left 
on record ; but the last mentioned, Gad Smith, was 
one of the most devoted, diligent, and useful young 
ministers I ever knew. His race was short, but it was 
attended mth most evident marks of the divine favor. 

Numbers in the Church. 

Whites. Colored. Total. Preachers. 

This year 190,477 39,150 229,627 748 
Last year 181,442 43,411 224,853 716 

Increase 9,035 De. 4,261 In. 4,774 32 

The reader will perceive that while there was an in- 


80 A HISTORY OF THE [1819. 

crease of white members amounting to 9,035, there was 
a decrease of 4,261 of the colored members, reducing 
the actual increase to 4,774. 

This diminution in the number of colored communi- 
cants was owing to the influence of the Allenite seces- 
sion, before mentioned, which had now spread into the 
city of New- York and some other places, exciting quite 
a spirit of dissatisfaction in the minds of many of this 
class of our membership. Indeed, a desire to become 
independent of the white preachers had manifested itself 
for some time among a portion of our colored congrega- 
tions, not because they were oppressed, — for our services 
had been rendered mostly gratuitous, the entire colored 
congregation in the city of New- York not paying more, 
at any time, than two hundred dollars a j^ear for the 
support of the ministry, — but chiefly from a disposition 
to manage their own aflfairs in their own way, without 
check or control from their white brethren, pleading 
that they had piety and talent among themselves suffi- 
cient to guide them in their counsels, to supply their 
pulpits, and to exercise the discipline of the Church. It 
is not known, however, that they departed in any de- 
gree from the doctrines which they had received, or 
from the General Rules of the United Societies. In 
this respect, therefore, they remained Methodists still, 
while they declared themselves independent in regard to a 
general control over theii' societies and church property. 

1819. This year was distinguished for the origin and 
commencement of the Missionary Society of the Me- 
thodist Episcopal Church. 

It is true that Methodism had been justly considered 
missionary in its character from its beginning. Among 
all modern missionaries, John Wesley was the greatest, 


the most evangelical, laborious, and successful. The 
method which he adopted and pursued to the end of 
his most useful life included in it all tlie elements of a 
missionary society, missionary plans, and operations. 
And the manner in which our Church was orsfanized 
in this country partook of the like missionary character. 
The first Wesleyan ministers who came to this country 
were missionaries^ in tlie proper sense of that word ; 
and it was by carrying out the spirit and plans which 
they adopted, itinerating as extensively as possible 
through the country, that the gospel took such a rapid 
spread through the instrumentality of their successors. 

Yet, on the increase of our work, bringing the cir- 
cuits, districts, and conferences into a more regular and 
compact order, it was found that it was losing somewhat 
of its missionary character, and therefore needed, that 
it might take a still wider range of usefulness, some- 
thing by which a more expansive field of labor might 
be occupied. This could be done only by grafting upon 
the original stock the branch of a missionary society, 
subject to such regulations as should bring it strictly 
within the control of the general superintendency. 

It was found also that there were many parts of our 
country, both in the old and new settlements, where the 
people were either too poor or too indifferent about their 
eternal interests to grant any thing like a competent 
support to those who might be sent to preach the gospel 
to them. With these difficulties we had long contended, 
and many of our preachers had suffered all sorts of 
hardships in conveying to the people in these circum- 
stances the glad tidings of salvation. But as they had 
succeeded in raising up societies, many of which had 
become comparatively wealthy, it was thought to be 

4* 3 

82 A HISTORY OF THE [1819. 

nothing more than a ckity which the Church owed to 
God and to mankind, that its members should contri- 
bute a portion of their earthly substance to aid in sup- 
plying the spiritual wants of those destitute places. 
Under these impressions it was concluded that if a 
united and systematic plan could be devised to call forth 
the ability and liberality of the Church, that amount of 
liuman suffering arising from pecuniary embarrass- 
ments might be greatly diminished, the gospel be more 
extensively spread among the poor and the destitute, 
and those men of God who were willing to devote their 
energies to this noble enterprise be relieved from the 
anxieties arising from present or piospective want and 
suffering. These thoughts had long occupied the minds 
of some of the most enlightened and warm-hearted 
ministers and members of our Church. 

This subject accordingly became the topic of con- 
versation among several individuals in the city of New- 
York in the beginning of this year, some for and some 
against the measure. At length, at a meeting of 
preachers stationed in New- York, and the book agents, 
the Rev. Laban Clark presented a resolution in favor 
of forming a Bible and missionary society of the Me- 
thodist Episcopal Church. At this time the following 
preachers were present, namely, Freeborn Garrettson, 
Joshua Soule, Samuel Merwin, Nathan Bangs, Laban 
Clark, Thomas Mason, Seth Crowell, Samuel Howe, 
and Thomas Thorp. After a free interchange of 
thoughts on the subject the resolution was adopted, and 
Freeborn Garrettson, Laban Clark, and Nathan Bangs 
were appointed a committee to prepare a constitution to 
be submitted at a subsequent meeting of the above-men- 
tioned preachers. This committee, on coming together, 


agreed that each member should draught a constitu- 
tion, and at a subsequent meeting the one should be 
adopted which might appear the most suitable. On 
comparing these draughts, the one prepared by the pre- 
sent writer was preferred, and at a full meeting of the 
preachers before mentioned, after undergoing some 
verbal alterations, was unanimously concurred in, and 
ordered to be submitted to a public meeting of all the 
members and friends of the Church who might choose 
to attend the call, in the Forsyth-street church, on the 
evening of April 5, 1819. This was accordingly done, 
when Nathan Bangs was called to the chair. Ad- 
dresses were delivered by the Chair, by Freeborn Gar- 
rettson, Joshua Soule, and some others, when, on motion 
of Joshua Soule, seconded by Freeborn Garrettson, the 
constitution which had been prepared was adopted. It 
is as follows : — 


" Article I. This association shall be denominated 
The Missionary and Bible Society of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in America ; the object of which is, 
to supply the destitute with Bibles gratuitously, to afford a 
cheap supply to those who may have the means of pur- 
chasing, and to enable the several annual conferences more 
effectually to extend their missionary labors throughout the 
United States and elsewhere. 

" Art. II. The business of this society shall be con- 
ducted by a president, thirteen vice presidents, clerk, 
recording and corresponding secretary, treasurer, and 
thirty-two managers, all of whom shall be members of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. The president, first two 
vice presidents, clerk, secretaries, treasurer, and the thirty- 
two managers, shall be elected by the society annually ; 

84 A HISTORY OF THE [1819. 

and each annual conference shall have the privilege of 
appointing one vice president from its own body. 

"Art. III. Fifteen members at all meetings of the 


board of managers, and thirty at all meetings of the so- 
ciety, shall be a quorum. 

" Art. IV. The board shall have authority to make by- 
laws for regulating its own proceedings, fill up vacancies 
that may occur during the year, and shall present a state- 
ment of its transactions and funds to the society at its 
annual meeting ; and also lay before the General Confer- 
ence a report of its transactions for the four preceding 
years, and state of its funds. 

" Art. V. Ordained ministers of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, whether traveling or local, being members of 
the society, shall be ex officio members of the board of ma- 
nagers, and be entitled to vote in all meetings of the board. 

" Art. VI. Auxiliary societies, embracing the same 
objects, shall be supplied with Bibles and Testaments at 
cost, provided such societies shall agree, after supplying 
their own districts with Bibles, to place their surplus mo- 
neys at the disposal of this society. 

" Art. VII. Each subscriber paying two dollars annu- 
ally shall be a member ; and the payment of twenty dol- 
lars at one time shall constitute a member for life. 

" Art. VIII. Each member shall be entitled, under the 
direction of the board of managers, to purchase Bibles and 
Testaments at the society's prices, which shall be as low 
as possible. 

" Art. IX. The annual meeting of the society shall be 
held on the third Monday in April. 

" Art. X. The president, vice presidents, clerk, secre- 
taries, and treasurer, for the time being, shall be ex officio 
members of the board of managers. 

" Art. XI. At all meetings of the society and of the 
board, the president, or, in his absence, the vice president 


first on the list then present, and in the absence of all the 
vice presidents, such member as shall be appointed by the 
meeting for that purpose, shall preside. 

" Art. XII. The minutes of each meeting shall be 
signed by the chairman. 

" Art. XIII. This constitution shall be submitted to 
the next General Conference, and, if the objects of the 
society be approved by them, they shall have authority to 
insert such article or articles as they may judge proper, 
for the purpose of establishing the society wherever the 
Book Concern may be located ; and also for the equitable 
and equal application of its funds for the accomplishment 
of the objects herein expressed, and for the purpose of de- 
positing its funds with the agents of the Book Concern, 
and of having their aid in printing, purchasing, and distri- 
buting Bibles and Testaments : Provided always, That 
the revenue of the society shall never be used or appro- 
priated otherwise than for the printing, purchasing, and 
distributing Bibles and Testaments under the direction of 
the managers ; and for the support of missionaries who 
may act under the direction of the bishops and conferences 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

" Art. XIV. This constitution, being submitted and 
approved according to the provisions of the preceding ar- 
ticle, shall not be altered but by the General Conference, 
on the recommendation of the board of managers." 

After receiving subscribers to the constitutionj the 
following officers and managers were elected : — 
" Rev. William M'Kexdree, President. 

Enoch George, l^-^ Vice President. 
Robert R. Roberts, 2d Vice President. 
N. Bangs, New- York conference, 3c? Vice President. 
Mr. Francis Hall, Clerk. 

Daniel Ayres, Recording Secretary. 
Rev. Thomas Mason, Corresponding Secretary. 
Joshua Soule, Treasurer. 


86 A HISTORY OF THE [1819. 

" Managers. — Joseph Smith, Robert Mathison, Joseph 
Sandford, George Siickley, Samuel L. Waldo, Stephen 
Dando, Samuel B. Harper, Lancaster S. Burling, WilHam 
Duval, Paul Hick, John Westfield, Thomas Roby, Benja- 
min Disbrow, James B. Gascoigne, William A. Mercein, 
Philip I. Arcularius, James B. Oakley, George Gaines, 
Dr. Seaman, Dr. Gregory, John Boyd, M. H. Smith, Na- 
thaniel Jarvis, Robert Snow, Andrew Mercein, Joseph 
Moser, John Paradise, William Myers, William B. Skid- 
more, Nicholas Schureman, James Woods, Abraham Paul." 

Having thus formed the society, and created a board 
of officers and managers, the next question was, how 
we might best enlist the feeUngs and engage the co-op- 
eration of our brethren and friends generally in this im- 
portant cause. To do this the more effectually, at the first 
meeting of the managers the following address and 
circular, prepared by the author, who had been ap- 
pointed for that purpose, were adopted, and ordered to be 
printed and circulated, both in pamphlet form and in the 
Methodist Magazine. 

Of the Missionary and Bible Society of the Methodist 

Episcopal Church in America. 
" At a time when the Christian world is alive to every 
sentiment of humanity, and awake to the temporal and 
spiritual wants of men, every effort directed to the accom- 
plishment of the grand climax of human felicity will, by 
the philanthropic mind, be viewed with pleasure and 

" It is the peculiar office of Christianity to inspire in the 

breasts of its votaries an ardent desire for the happiness 

of man. Expanding the soul with the purest benevolence, 

wherever its influence is felt it expels that selfishness 



which is fed and strengthened by avarice. And this di- 
vine principle, occupying the heart, prompts its possessor 
to the selection of the most suitable means to accomplish 
the object of his desire. Ever active, and directing his 
activity to exalt the glory of God, and to effect the present 
and future happiness of man, whenever suitable means are 
presented they are applied with assiduity, and with cer- 
tain hope of success. 

" Such, we trust, are the objects of the patrons of this 
society. Beholding with pleasure the extensive diffusion 
of Scriptural knowledge, through the medium of mission- 
ary, Bible, and tract societies, and believing that more 
efficient means to extend the Redeemer's kingdom were 
within their power, the members of the Missionary and 
Bible Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in America 
have agreed to unite their strength for the purpose of con- 
tributing their mite toward sending the messengers of 
peace to gather in the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 

" In presenting their institution to their brethren and to 
the Christian public, they deem it expedient to explain, in 
a few words, their ultimate design : — it is, as expressed 
in the first article of the constitution. To enable the seve- 
ral annual conferences more effectually to extend their 
missionary labors throughout the United States and else- 
where ; to afford a cheap supply of Bibles and Testaments 
to those who may have the means of purchasing ; and to 
supply the destitute gratis. 

" The primary intention, therefore, of this institution is 
an extended operation of the gTeat missionary system, the 
success of which has been witnessed among us for so 
many years ; and the Bible is only so far associated with 
it as to be made subservient to the main design. That 
this ought to be the leading design of every association 
which has for its final object the diffusion of Christianity, 
will appear evident to those who consider, that it has been 

88 A HISTORY OF THE [1819. 

the invariable method of God to bring mankind to the 
knowledge of the truth by means uf a living ministry. The 
Bible is the infallible judge, to which the living messen- 
ger appeals for the correctness of his message ; but it is 
the word of truth, addressed by the ambassador of Christ 
to the understandings and consciences of men, that gene- 
rally lays open the nakedness of the human heart, and 
brings the guilty sinner to Jesus Christ. Send, therefore, 
the living messenger of God, with the Bible in his hands, 
and let that finally decide the controversy between the 
sinner and the truths delivered. This method, we believe, 
will be the most effectual to convey the glad tidings of 
salvation to those who are perishing for Jack of know- 

" Moreover, as it is the design of this society to extend 
itself, if possible, by means of auxiliary societies, through- 
out the United States, and to engage especially the co-ope- 
ration of all the annual conferences, provision is made in 
the constitution for the formation of auxiliary societies, 
and a circular addressed to them on the subject ; and as 
none are so competent to take an impartial and compre- 
hensive view of the various parts of our extensive conti- 
nent as the General Conference, in which is concentrated 
the episcopal authority and the general oversight of the 
whole Church ; and as it would, in our opinion, very much 
facilitate the operations, and greatly contribute to accom- 
plish the benevolent objects of the society, to unite in 
some measure its counsels and operations with the book 
agency ; we have provided for the attainment of these ob- 
jects, by ceding to the General Conference a power of 
inserting such articles for these purposes as they may 
judge proper, as well as for the equitable apportionment 
of the funds of the society among the several annual con- 
ferences." As our ultimate object is the general good of 
mankind, by the extensive diffusion of experimental and 


practical godliness, we are principally solicitous to raise 
an adequate supply for such men of God as may vohmteer 
their services in the cause of Christ, leaving to the epis- 
copacy the selection of the men, as well as the place of 
their destination. We take the liberty of observing, how- 
ever, that oiu- views are not restricted to our own nation or 
color ; we hope the aborigines of our country, the Spa- 
niards of South America, the French of Louisiana and 
Canada, and every other people who are destitute of the 
invaluable blessings of the gospel, as far as our means 
may admit, will be comprehended in the field of the labors 
of our zealous missionaries. To accomplish so great and 
so glorious an object, time, union, liberality, patience, and 
perseverance are all necessary. And we hope to exhibit, 
in our future exertions, evidence of our zeal in prodding 
pecuniary aid to the extent of our power, and in our fer- 
vent prayers and earnest wishes for the success of our 

" With an object of such magnitude and importance 
before us, we think we cannot appeal in vain to the libe- 
rality of our brethren and friends for their hearty co- 

" When we review our ministry' from the commence- 
ment of our existence as a separate coimiiunion, and mark 
its successful progress, we are constrained to say. What 
hath God tor ought ! 

" Contending with numerous impediments, they have 
persevered with great success in extending the triumphs of 
the cross among mankind. We ourselves are, we humbly 
trust, the trophies of this ministry. By the blessing of 
God upon their labors, it was this same ministry', crossing 
the ' watery world' in the character of missionaries, that 
gave the first impetus to that might}^ exertion in the Chris- 
tian cause, by which the present generation in this west- 
ern world is distinguished. And shall we be wanting in 


90 A HISTORY OF THE [1819. 

our efforts to send this ' gospel of the kingdom' to our fel- 
low-men, millions of whom are yet dwelling in darkness 
and in the shadow of death ? 

" Arise, brethren, in the majesty of your strength : in 
the name of Immanuel, God with us, go forward : concen- 
trate your force in this society ; and, by a united exertion, 
help to people the regions of perennial happiness, by con- 
tributing to send the word of life to the destitute inhabit- 
ants of our fallen world. What heart can remain unmoved, 
what hand unemployed, when called to action in a cause 
so important, so interesting, so sacred ! Let but the friends 
of Zion give half as much for the support of missionaries, 
and for the distribution of the word of life, as the intempe- 
rate do to gratify and pamper their appetites, and there 
shall be no lack. 

" Although the constitution which accompanies this ad- 
dress requires the payment of two dollars annually to con- 
stitute a member, and the payment of twenty dollars at one 
time to constitute a member for life, yet this does not ex- 
clude donations to any amount, great or small. Remember, 
the mite of the poor widow was not only accepted, but her 
liberality was highly applauded by her Lord, because she 
put in all her living. ' It is accepted according to what a 
man hath, and not according to what he hath not.' And 
if every one will become a cheerful giver, * according to 
the ability which God giveth,' we shall soon witness the 
rising glory of the Church ; ' the solitary places shall be 
glad for them' — the messengers of Zion — ' and the wilder- 
ness shall blossom as the rose ;' the pagan nations, which 
inhabit the wilds of America, and the desolate inhabitants 
of our new states and territories, shall hail the effects of 
your bounty ; — nations unborn shall rise up and call you 
blessed. Let, then, all hearts be warm, and all hands 
active, until the ' ends of the earth see the salvation of our 
God.' " 



" The managers of the Missioiiary and Bible Society of 
the Methodist Episcopal Church in America beg leave to 
present to the several annual conferences, and through 
them to the members of our Church generally, a copy of 
their address and constitution, with an earnest solicitation 
that efficient means may be adopted to establish societies 
auxiliary to this. 

" Having long been convinced of the necessity of some 
institution, by which pecuniary aid could be afforded to 
enable the conferences to carry on their missionary labors 
on a more extended plan, the object of their desire is at 
length so far accomplished in the formation of this society, 
the real and professed object of which is, to extend the in- 
fluence of divine truth, by means of those missionaries 
who may, from time to time, be approved and employed 
by the bishops and conferences for that purpose. 

" You are referred to the preceding address for more 
particular information of our views, and the reasons for 
some of the articles of the constitution. Any amendments 
which may be suggested by either of the annual confer- 
ences can be forwarded to the managers, and, if deemed 
expedient, the General Conference, agreeably to the pro- 
visions of the last article of the constitution, can adopt 

" You are likewise presented with the draught of a con- 
stitution deemed suitable for auxiliary societies, leaving it 
to you to make such alterations as local circumstances 
may seem to require. This is done with a view to pro- 
duce as much uniformity in the operations of the various 
auxiliaries as circumstances will admit. 

" The managers beg leave to suggest the propriety of 
forming one society only auxiliary to this, in each confer- 
ence, to be located in the most populous town or city 
within the bounds of the conference, such as Philadelphia, 


92 A HISTORY OF THE [1819. 

Baltimore, Charleston, Boston, &c., &c., and that the other 
societies Avhich may be formed within the limits of each 
conference become branches of that. This method, it is 
thought, will greatly facihtate the operations of the society, 
and produce greater energy in the execution of its benevo- 
lent designs, than it would to make every subordinate 
society immediately auxiliary to the parent society. And 
if the several annual conferences unite their counsels, and 
recommend the subject to the people of their charge, with 
practical zeal and energy, it is believed that auxiliary and 
branch societies may be established in every city and cir- 
cuit throughout our extensive work. 

" According to a recent report of the ' General Wesleyan 
Methodist Missionary Society,^ now in successful operation 
in England, our brethren in Europe, during the last year, 
have raised upward of eighty thousand dollars for the sup- 
port of domestic and foreign missionaries ! Through this 
generous pecuniary aid they now employ one hundred and 
three missio7iaries. How much, therefore, may we do, if 
efficient means are used to combine our strength ! 

" The object contemplated by this society, the mana- 
gers think, is of sufficient importance and utility to recom- 
mend itself to every considerate and pious mind ; and 
therefore they need say no more, than to add their prayers, 
and request yours, that we may all be guided by the wis- 
dom that Cometh from above in all our attempts to promote 
peace on earth and good-will among men. 

" Signed by order of the board of managers, 

N. Bangs, Chairman. 

New-York, April 21, 1819. 

" P. S. As soon as any auxiliary society is formed, it is 
requested that official notice thereof be forwarded to our 
corresponding secretary. Rev. Thomas Mason, No. 41 
John-street, New-York." 


Soon after the society was thus organized, our plans 
and proceedings were submitted to the Baltimore con- 
ference by the Rev. Joshua Soule; and it was no small 
encouragement to be assured that the brethren of that 
conference most heartily approved of our objects, and 
passed spirited resolutions to carry our plans into effect. 
The Virginia, New- York, and New-England confer- 
ences passed similar resolutions, recommending the so- 
ciety to the patronage and support of the people of their 

The first auxiliary society was the Female Mission- 
ary Society of New- York, which was organized in July, 
1 819. Then followed the Young Men's of New- York. 
Courtlandt, Stamford, Genesee conference, the Domestic 
Missionary Society of Boston, and Columbia, of South 
CaroHna, all which became auxiliary in the course of 
the year. These movements were sources of much com- 
fort, and greatly encouraged the officers and managers 
to persevere in the work they had so happily begun. 

Soon after our organization a letter was addressed, 
by order of the managers, to Bishop M'Kendree, stating 
to him the plan and objects of the society, and request- 
ing his opinion respecting the practicability and the 
most suitable means of sending the gospel to the 
French of Louisiana, and to the destitute inhabitants 
of Florida. The following is an extract from the 
bishop's answer : — 

" Your plan meets my views of preaching the gospel to 
every creature better than any one I have yet seen. 

" 1 . Because that body of missionaries whom you intend 
to employ have mutually agreed to renounce ease and 
worldly interest, and devote their time, their talents, and 
their labors. They know no geographical boundaries ; 


94 A HISTORY OF THE [1819. 

but, like tho gospel which they preach, embrace the poor 
as well as the rich of every nation and condition of men ; 
and in order to perpetuate the blessings of the gospel to 
all classes of men, they voluntarily subject themselves to 
a system of rules and regulations calculated to promote 
so desirable an end, and labor for the reformation and 
happiness of mankind, which is the uhimate design of the 

*' 2. It promises that pecuniary aid, for wan. of which 
we have had the mortification of seeing many well-devised 
plans frustrated, and many hopeful prospects fade away. 

" You are sufficiently acquainted with the state of things 
in Canada. 

" Florida, the state of Louisiana, and the Missouri ter- 
ritory form our western frontiers, and furnish a large field 
for missionary enterprise. In these bounds there are many 
French, some of them friendly to our views of religion. 
Believing that it would be productive of much good, we 
have long wished for, and frequently endeavored to pro- 
cure, ministers who would be itinerant ministers indeed, 
to send to our western frontiers to preach to their inhabit- 
ants in French ; but we have been hitherto disappointed." 

About the same time that this society was established 
in the city of New- York, the Missionary Society of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church within the bounds of the 
Philadelphia conference was formed ; and though it has 
never thought it best to become auxiliary, it has pursued 
the even tenor of its way from that time to this, appro- 
priating its funds for the promotion of the same l^enevo- 
lent objects, and has done much in furtherance of the 
cause of missions. 

Wliile these efforts were making to enlarge the 
sphere of our operations by means of missionary insti- 
tutions and labors, the work in general, on the circuits 


and stations, was in a state of prosperity, as may be 
seen by reference to the number of Church members. 
In the Scioto and Ohio districts, in Chilicothe, Ohio, 
and in Schenectady, New- York, and some other 
places, there were encouraging revivals of religion. 
There was, however, a very considerable secession 
among the colored people in the city of New- York. 

We have already seen that the secession of Allen and 
his party created much uneasiness in the minds of the 
colored members of our Church, both in Philadelphia 
and New- York, and that quite a number, particularly 
in the former city, were induced to join the disaffected 
party. Allen had succeeded also in establishing a 
small congregation in the city of New- York, over which 
he had ordained a preacher by the name of Miller,* who 
had been for several years a local preacher in our 

There were in this city, altogether, about one thou- 
sand colored people attached to our Church, among 
whom were several local preachers of piety and talent. 
These had heretofore been under the pastoral oversight 
of a white elder, stationed by the bishop, who adminis- 
tered to them the ordinances, exercised discipline, held 
love-feasts, and generally preached to them once every 
sabbath — the other appointments being filled by their 
own local preachers. For this service the trustees of 
the v/hite churches thought it no more than just that 
the colored congregation should pay something toward 
the support of the preacher who had charge of them. 
This became one source of complaint, while others 

* He afterward left the Allenites and connected himseli 
with the African Methodist Episcopal Church, and is now an 
elder among them. 



thought it was degrading to them to be in any way- 
dependent upon white men for the administration of 
the ordinances and the government of the Church. 
Accordingly symptoms of dissatisfaction had shown 
themselves for several years on these and collateral sub- 
jects ; and though various attempts had been made to 
remove their grounds of complaint, they had proved 
unavailing; this year, therefore, they declared them- 
selves independent. 

They did not, however, connect themselves with the 
Allenites. As they had succeeded in building them a 
commodious house of w^orship in Church-street, had 
several local preachers and some elders among them- 
selves, and not having full confidence in Allen and his 
partisans, they saw fit to organize themselves into an 
independent body, called the African Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, under the government of elders of their 
own choosing, altering our Discipline so far as to make 
it conform to their peculiar organization, electing annu- 
ally one of their elders as a general superintendent, 
without, however, setting him apart to that office by 
prayer and imposition of hands. With these excep- 
tions, it is believed that they retain the doctrines and 
discipline of the Church they have left, having their 
annual and quarterly conferences, class meetings, love- 
feasts, and sacramental services, as provided for in our 

One principal reason assigned by themselves for this 
separate organization was, that colored preachers were 
not recognized by our conferences as travehng preach- 
ers ; and, therefore, however much a local preacher 
might labor in word and doctrine for the benefit of his 
colored brethren, he could neither exercise the functions 


of pastor ia the governmental department, nor receive a 
pecuniary support for his services. To remedy this in- 
convenience, and remove the disability under which 
they labored in this respect, they withdrew from our 
pastoral oversight, estabhshed a conference of their own, 
and commenced the itinerant mode of preaching the 

By this secession we lost fourteen colored local 
preachers, and nine hundred and twenty-nine private 
members, including class-leaders, exhorters, and stew- 
ards. But though they thus " went out from us," they 
have never, I believe, manifested any rancorous or bitter 
spirit toward their old friends, but have cultivated a 
feeling of friendship and brotherly affection ; and there 
is reason to believe that, though they may not have 
prospered in the same ratio in which they did before 
their separation, they have retained their piety and 
zeal, and have managed their affairs in an orderly 

It is now (1839) twenty years since the secession 
took place, and the degree of their prosperity may be 
estimated from the following statement of their number 
of circuits and stations, preachers and members, taken 
from their Minutes for 1839. 

Circuits 21 ; preachers 32 ; members 2,608. These 
circuits and stations are found in the states of New- 
Jersey, New- York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and 
Massachusetts. In the city of New- York, where the 
secession originated, they have a membership of 1,325, 
making an increase of 396 in twenty years, w*hich is 
by no means in a ratio with their increase while they 
remained under the care of their white brethren. In 
the city of Boston, however, their success has been 

Vol. III.— 5 

08 A HISTORY OF tHE t^^i^ 

greater in proportion. In 1819 they had only 33 ; but 
now, in 1839, they have 126. 

They will not allow any slaveholder to become or 
remain a member of their church. 

As the Methodist Episcopal Church never derived 
any temporal emolument from them, so we have sus- 
tained no other damage by the secession than what 
may arise from missing the opportunity of doing them 
all the good in our power as their pastors. And if a 
desire for independence on their part has deprived us 
of this opportunity, having done what we could as 
Christian ministers to prevent the rupture, I trust we 
shall be absolved from all blame, be the consequences 
what they may. We cannot do otherwise than wish 
them all spiritual and temporal blessings in Christ Je- 
sus. Though formally separated from us in name, we 
still love them as our spiritual children, and stand ready 
to aid them, as far as we may, in extending the Re- 
deemer's kingdom among men. 

Forty-seven preachers located this year, fifteen were 
returned supernumerary, thirty-six superannuated, two 
were expelled, and nine had finished their work and 
gone to their reward. These latter were, Fletcher 
Hari'is^ Thomas Lucas^ Joseph tSto7ie, John Wesley 
Bond, Joseph Totten, Daniel Moore, Thomas Thorp, 
Stephen Jacob, Jason Walker. 

Joseph Totten had long been a faithful laborer in his 
Lord's vineyard, having entered the traveling ministry 
in 1792, and continued steadfast in his work until death 
signed his release. 

Thomas Thorp was young in the ministry, but was 
a man of precocious genius, possessing a remarkable 


aptitude for the acquirement of knowledge, and for 
imparting it to others. 

John Wesley Bond was for several years the traveling 
companion of Bishop Asbury during the close of his 
days, and attended him with the fidelity and affection 
of a son, was with him in his last sickness and death, 
watching his parting breath, while the bishop leaned 
his dying head upon his arm. Of his excellent spirit, 
his integrity, and faithful services, particularly toward 
him as his traveling companion, Bishop Asbury bears 
an ample testimony. He ended his days in peace and 

The others enumerated were faithful in their calling 
and happy in their death. 

Numbers in the Church. 

Whites. Colored. Total. Preachers. 

This year 201,750 39,174 240,924 812 
Last year 190,477 39,150 229,627 748 

Increase 11,273 24 11,297 64 

The secession of the colored people in the city of 
New- York, amounting to about nine hundred, accounts 
for the small increase of that class to the membership ; 
while the general increase shows the happy results of 
the work among the white population. 

1820. Previously to the session of the General Confer- 
ence, May 1 of this year, the Ohio, Missouri, Tennes- 
see, Mississippi, South Carolina, Virginia, Baltimore, 
and Philadelphia conferences held their sessions and 
elected their delegates — the New- York, New-England, 
and Genesee conferences, having held theirs after the 
session of the General Conference, elected their dele- 
gates the year before. 


100 A KISTORY OF THE [1820 

The reports from various parts of the work this year 
were highly favorable, the increase to the membership 
being nearly twenty thousand. The estabhshment of 
the Tract and Missionary Societies, and the pubhcation 
of the Methodist Magazine, added a fresh stimulant to 
preachers and people, and tended much to enlarge the 
field of labor, as well as to encourage the hearts of those 
who were panting for the salvation of the world. 

But, before giving a detailed account of these thing.-^, 
we shall notice the doings of the General Conference. 


The General Conference of 1820. 

This conference assembled in the city of Baltimore, 
May 1, 1820, and was composed of the following dele- 
gates : — 

New-York Conference 
Daniel Ostrander, Eben Smith, 

Henry Stead, Freeborn Garrettson, 

Nathan Bangs, Phineas Rice, 

Peter P. Sandford, Joshua Soule, 

Samuel Draper, Elijah Woolsey, 

Samuel Merwin, Marvin Richardson, 

Ebenezer Washburn. 
New-England Conference. 
George Pickering, Erastus Otis, 

Elijah Hedding, Daniel Fillmore, 

Timothy Merritt, Solomon Sias, 

Martin Ruter, David Kilboum, 

Joseph A. Merrill, Oliver Beal. 





Charles Giles, 
William Case, 
Abner Chase, 

John Collins, 
Jacob Young, 
James B. Finley, 
William Dixon, 

Genesee Conference. 

Marmaduke Pearce, 
Henry Ryan, 
Loring Grant, 

Israel Chamberlin. 
Ohio Conference. 

Alexander Cmnmins, 
Jonathan Stamper, 
James Quinn, 
Walter Griffith. 

Missouri Conference. 
Samuel H. Thompson, John Scripps, 

Jesse Walker. 

Mississippi Conference. 
Thomas Griffin, John Lane. 

Tennessee Conference. 
James Axley, Peter Cartwright, 

Jesse Cunningham, William Adams, 

Marcus Lindsey, Charles Holliday. 

South Carolina Conference. 
Samuel Dunwody, Lewis Myers, 

William M. Kennedy, Daniel Asbury, 

Joseph Travis, 
James Norton, 

Daniel Hall, 
John T. Weaver, 
William Compton, 
Peyton Anderson, 

Joseph Frye, 
John Emory, 

William Capers, 
James O. Andrew, 
Samuel K. Hodges. 

Virginia Conference. 

James Patterson, 
Edward Cannon, 
Ethelbert Drake, 
Matthew M. Dance. 

Baltimore Conference. 

Stephen G. Roszel, 
Lewis R. Fechtig, 

102 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

Beverly Waugh, Alfred Griffith, 

Nelson Reed, James M'Cann, 

Thomas Burch. 

Philadelphia Conference. 

Ezekiel Cooper, James Smith, 

Stephen Martindale, Joseph Lybrand, 

Lawrence M'Combs, Andrew Monroe, 

Solomon Sharpe, Gerard Morgan, 

George Woolley, James Ridgway, 

William Ryland, Joshua Wells, 

Thomas Ware, James Bateman. 

Bishops M'Kendree, George, and Roberts were pre- 
sent, and the conference was opened by Bishop M'Ken- 
dree by reading a portion of the word of God, singing, 
and prayer ; and he then informed the conference that, 
in consequence of ill health, he should not be able to 
discharge the duties of the chair, but should avail him- 
self of every opportunity which his health might permit 
to assist his colleagues in guiding the counsels of the 
conference. I regret that I am not able to find a copy 
of the written address which he afterward presented, 
containing recommendations of such subjects as he con- 
sidered worthy the attention of the conference. From 
the character and duties of the committees, however, it 
appears that the address referred to the state of the 
episcopacy^ — the local preachers^ — to the instruction 
of children^ — to the condition of the slaves^ — to the 
cause of missions^ — to the use of spirituous liqiwrs, — 
to the condition of our houses of worshijo^ and to the 
boundaries of the annual conferences — all which 
were referred to appropriate committees. 

Bishops George and Roberts, in a verbal communi- 
cation, called the attention of the conference to the state 


of things in Canada^ and to the subject of locating 
traveling preachers without their consent^ which 
were referred to committees. 

The following is an extract from the report of the 
committee on the episcopacy : — 

After approving of the manner in which the bishops 
liad discharged their onerous duties during the past 
four years, the committee add — 

" In relation to strengthening the episcopacy, they have 
regarded with deep and affectionate concern the declining 
health and strength of our senior superintendent. Worn 
down by long, extensive, and faithful labors in the service 
of God and the Church, your committee feel a solicitude, 
which they doubt not is equally felt by the conference, 
that every practicable provision may be made for his relief 
and comfort, hoping that by a prudent relaxation from labor 
for a time, the Church may yet be blessed with the benefit 
of his very desirable services and counsel." 

Whereupon the following resolutions were submitted 
by the committee and concurred in by the conference : — • 

" 1 . That it is the wish and desire of this General Con- 
ference that Bishop M'Kendree, during his afflictions and 
debility, should travel in such directions, or remain in such 
places, as he may judge most conducive to his own health 
and comfort, and that he be accordingly, at the close of 
the conference, respectfully and affectionately requested 
so to do. 

" 2. That, whenever Bishop M'Kendree shall think 
himself able, it is the desire of this conference that he 
should continue, so far as his health will permit, the exer- 
cise of his episcopal functions and superintending care. 

" 3. That the committee appointed by the last General 
Conference, to make provision for the families of the 


104 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

bishops, are hereby continued, and that the same com- 
mittee be directed to take into consideration the present 
state of Bishop M'Kendree's heaUh, and to provide for 
defraying any extra expenses which, in their judgment, 
his afflictions may make requisite." 

This affectionate regard of the conference for the 
bishop was a source of great consolation to him, and 
counterbalanced, in some measure at least, the mental 
anxieties he suffered at this conference, in consequence 
of the conflicting opinions respecting the manner in 
which the presiding elders should be appointed, and in 
what their duties should consist. But as all these 
things, together with the election and resignation of 
another bishop, have been fully detailed in vol. ii, page 
330, I shall add nothing more in reference to them 
here, only to say, that Bishop M'Kendree expressed his 
high gratification for the respect and sympathy thus 
manifested toward him by the conference in his aflflic- 
tions, and for the confidence reposed in the integrity 
with which he had administered the government of 
the Church. 

We have before remarked that the cause of education 
had been abandoned by our Church since the destruc- 
tion of Cokesbury College the second time by fire, and 
that the consequences of this long neglect of so important 
a cause began to bear injuriously upon the character 
and prosperity of the Church. This had been painfully 
felt and feelingly expressed by some of the most en- 
hghtened members of our Church, both ministers and 
people, and some incipient steps had been taken by the 
New-England and New- York conferences to remedy 
the evil. In 1817 an academy had been established in 
Newmarket, N. H., under the patronage of the New- 


England conference, and another in the city of New- 
York in 1819, under the patronage of the New-York 
conference. Wishing to secure also the patronage of 
the General Conference, as far as might be consistent, 
and likewise to awaken a spirit favorable to the cause 
of education generally, the friends of these institutions 
presented to this General Conference their respective 
constitutions and plans of procedure, praying that the 
bishops might be authorized to appoint principals from 
among the traveling preachers for a longer space than 
two years. This authority was granted, and the whole 
subject was referred to a committee, the report of w^iich, 
in the following words, was adopted by the conference. 

" The committee appointed to take into consideration 

the propriety of recommending to the annual conferences 

the establishment of seminaries of learning, having had the 

subject under deliberation, beg leave to submit the following 


" Your committee regret the want of time, as well as 
talent, to take that extended and comprehensive view of 
the subject which its importance demands ; but it is cause 
of greater regret still, considering the rapid improvement 
of society in almost every science, and the extension of 
our Church through the propagation of those divine prin- 
ciples which we consider so unspeakably precious, that 
this subject has not sooner claimed the attention of the 
General Conference. 

" Almost all seminaries of learning in our country, of 
much celebrity, are under the control of Calvinistic or of 
Hopkinsian principles, or otherwise are managed by men 
denying the fundamental doctrines of the gospel. If any 
of our people, therefore, wish to give their sons or daugh- 
ters a finished education, they are under the necessity of 
resigning them to the management of those institutions 
5* 3 

106 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

which are more or less hostile to our views of the grand 
doctrines of Christianity. 

" Another capital defect in most seminaries of learning, 
your committee presume to think, is, that experimental and 
practical godliness is considered only of secondary import- 
ance ; whereas, in the opinion of your committee, this 
ought to form the most prominent feature in every literary 
institution. Religion and learning should mutually assist 
each other, and thus connect the happiness of both worlds 

" On account, however, of the different usages which 
prevail in the several sections of our widely extended 
country, originating from state regulations, <fec., your com- 
mittee think it impossible for the General Conference to 
adopt a system of regulations on this subject uniformly 
the same for each annual conference. But that each con- 
ference should exert itself to adopt some method for such 
advantages to the rising generation as may be had from 
literary institutions which combine religion and learning 
together, it is thought, there can be no doubt. 

" Your committee rejoice in being able to say, that two 
of your annual conferences, namely, New-England and 
New-York, have established seminaries, which, in a good 
degree, answer the description your committee would re- 
commend. These institutions afford an encouraging pros- 
pect of usefulness. Your committee therefore recommend 
the adoption of the following resolutions, viz. : 

" 1. Resolved, by the delegates of the annual confer- 
ences in General Conference assembled, that it be, and it 
is hereby, recommended to all the annual conferences to 
establish, as soon as practicable, literary institutions, under 
their own control, in such way and manner as they may 
think proper. 

"2. Resolved, Slc, That it be the special duty of the 
episcopacy to use their influence to carry the above reso- 


lution into effect, by recommending the subject to each 
annual conference. 

" 3. Resolved, &c.. That the folloAving amendment to 
the second answer of the third question of the fourth sec- 
tion of the first chapter of the Discipline be adopted, viz, : 
after the word preachers, let there be added, And the pre- 
sidents, principals, or teachers of seminaries of learning, 
which are or may be under our superintendence. 

" 4. Resolved, <fcc., That the principals of the Wesleyan 
Academy and Wesleyan Seminary be requested to for- 
ward a copy of their constitutions to each of the annual 

" 5. Resolved, (fee, That a copy of this report be re- 
corded on the journals of the several annual conferences." 

The adoption of this report by the General Confer- 
ence, no doubt, tended greatly to subserve the cause of 
education, and to diffuse among us more generally than 
heretofore a desire to avail ourselves of the advantages 
to be derived from literary and scientific improvement. 

That opposition should be manifested to these efforts 
to raise the standard of education, by any of the disci- 
ples of the illustrious Wesley, whose profound learning 
added so much splendor to his character as an evange- 
lical minister, may seem strange to some. This, how- 
ever, was the fact ; and their unreasonable opposition, 
exemplified in a variety of ways, tended not a little to 
paralyze, for a season, the efforts of those who had en- 
listed in this cause ; while the apathy of others retarded 
its progress, and made its final success somewhat un- 
certain. And it has not been without much labor and 
persevering industry that this opposition has been mea- 
surably overcome, and the dormant energies of the 
Church awakened and excited to action in favor of this 



108 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

noble enterprise. Its onward march, however, has been 
hailed with no less delight by its friends than depre- 
cated by its enemies, while its success thus far has 
added greatly to the character which Methodism was 
acquiring in the public estimation. All we now want, 
to place our hterary institutions on a permanent found- 
ation, and make them eminently useful, is the simul- 
taneous and general effort of the members and friends 
of the Church to contribute liberally for their support 
and endowment. 

It has been seen in a preceding chapter that difficul- 
ties had arisen in Canada, growing chiefly out of the 
state of things which had been brought on by the war 
of 1812. In compliance with the request of the bre- 
thren in Quebec, and some members of the church in 
Montreal, the British conference had supplied these 
places with missionaries ; and through the solicitations 
of some individuals in Upper Canada missionaries had 
also been sent into that province, where our preachers 
had long labored with great success, amid many priva- 
tions and sufferings, and were still working to the satis- 
faction of the great majority of the people. 

This state of things had been productive of much 
irritation among the societies in Upper Canada, creating 
conflicting views and interests mutually injurious, 
and of course tending to impede the progress of pure 

At this General Conference the subject came up for 
consideration, by numerous memorials and petitions 
from the several circuits in Upper Canada, protesting 
against the interference of the British missionaries, and 
praying that they might still be supplied with the 
ministry and ordinances of religion by the American 


conference. After a due consideration of the subject, 
the following resolutions were adopted : — 

" 1. Resolved, by the delegates of the annual confer- 
ences in General Conference assembled, That it is the 
duty of the bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church to 
continue their episcopal charge over our societies in the 
Canadas, all except Quebec. 

" 2. Resolved, &c., That the following address be sent 
to our brethren in Canada : — 

" Dear Brethren : — We have received and read with 
deep interest the affectionate memorials and addresses 
from the several circuits in the provinces of Canada, in 
which you have expressed your strong attachment to us, 
and your ardent desire for the continuance of our ministe- 
rial care over you. We most cordially reciprocate the 
sentiments of brotherly affection and Christian attachment 
you have expressed, and pledge ourselves to use our best 
endeavors for your spiritual and eternal interest. 

" We sincerely deprecate those evils of which you 
complain, and which have grown out of the conduct of the 
missionaries sent by the British conference to labor in 
Canada. Confiding, however, in the integrity of that con- 
ference, and believing they have been misled by partial 
and erroneous statements, sent by interested persons in 
Canada, we still hope that the existing embarrassments 
will be removed, and that an amicable adjustment of this 
unhappy affair may be brought about. 

" We can assure you that no means which, in our 
opinion, will be likely to produce this desirable result, 
shall be left untried. 

" That you may be convinced that we have neither been 
inattentive to your interests nor unmindful of the respect 
due to our British brethren, we beg leave to lay before 


110 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

you a brief statement of what has been done in reference 
to this subject. 

" It is doubtless well known to you that your case was 
fully laid before us at our last session in this city, and im- 
partially considered in the presence of brothers Black and 
Bennett, who were sent as representatives by the British 
conference ; and after hearing all that could be said on 
both sides of the question, it was resolved most expedient, 
among other reasons because we understood it was your 
earnest desire, to continue, as we had done heretofore, our 
ministerial labors among you. That the British confer- 
ence might be fully apprized of the course we had taken, 
an address was sent to them, stating the reasons which 
had directed our decision in relation to Canada, and re- 
questing that some arrangements might be made for an 
amicable adjustment of the existing difficulties. To this 
comm.unication we have received no direct answer. 

" Similar communications have been since sent, by 
Bishops M'Kendree and George. The letter sent by 
Bishop George contained a full development of the affairs of 
Canada ; but neither has an answer to this been received. 

" As some of the circuits have petitioned to have a se- 
parate annual conference in Canada, this subject has been 
considered, and it is thought to be inexpedient for the pre- 
sent, because, among other reasons, it might prevent that 
interchange of preachers, so very desirable, and so essen- 
tial to your prosperity, 

" After assuring you of our unabated attachment to you 
as a branch of the Church over which we are called, in 
the providence of God, to extend our oversight, and of our 
determination, at your earnest request, as well as from a 
consciousness of imperious duty, to continue to afford you 
all the ministerial aid in our power, we exhort you to 
steadfastness in the faith, to unity and love, and to perse- 
verance in all holy obedience. 


" 3. Resolved, &c., That the following note be inserted 
in the Discipline, under the twenty-third article of our 
Church, viz. : ' As far as it respects civil affairs we believe 
it the duty of Christians, and especially all Christian 
ministers, to be subject to the supreme authority of the 
country where they may reside, and to use all laudable 
means to enjoin obedience to the powers that he : and 
therefore it is expected that all our preachers and people 
who may be under the British or any other government 
will behave themselves as peaceable and orderly subjects.' 

" 4. Resolved, by the delegates of the annual confer- 
ences in General Conference assembled, That this con- 
ference address the British conference on the subject of a 
mutual exchange of delegates, as representatives of the 
one conference to the other." 

The first resolution was afterward so modified as to 
authorize the delegate who might be sent to England 
to allow the whole of the lower province to be given up 
to the British connection : and then the following was 
added : — 

"5. That the episcopacy be requested, if practicable, 
to send a delegate to the British conference at their next 
session in July, or at any time thereafter, and furnish him 
with the requisite instructions, and also to draw on the 
Book Concern for the amount necessary to defray the 

" 6. Resolved, &c.. That the episcopacy, by and with 
the advice and consent of the Genesee conference, if they 
judge it expedient, previous to the sitting of the next 
General Conference, shall have authority to establish an 
annual conference in Canada." 

The Rev. J. Emory was appointed delegate, who, in 
addition to an adjustment of the existing difficulties 
in Canada, was instructed to convey to that body the 


112 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

affectionate attachment of the American conference to 
their British brethren, and to request a regular inter- 
change of delegates from one connection to the other, 
at such times as might be mutually satisfactory. As 
an assurance, however, that there existed a disposition, 
on the part of the missionary committee in London, to 
remove all just cause of complaint, and to prevent any 
improper interference of their missionaries in the houses 
and places occupied by our preachers in Upper Canada, 
the following document had been received by Bishop 
M'Kendree and submitted to the General Conference : 

" Wesleyan Mission House, 11 Hatton Garden, 
London, 25 tk February, 1819. 

" Dear Sir : — We transmit for your information the 
following resolutions, lately entered into by the committee 
of the General Wesleyan Missionary Society in London, 
relativ^e to the British missionaries in Canada, and which 
resolutions have been transmitted to those missionaries. 

" Resolved, 1. That it be recommended to the brethren 
in Canada to preach in a chapel which is now jointly oc- 
cupied by the American brethren, and, for the sake of 
peace, to pursue their labor separately, and not to continue 
their labors in any station previously occupied by the 
American brethren, except when the population is so 
large, or so scattered, that it is evident a very considerable 
part of them must be neglected, 

" Resolved, 2. That they are to act under the general 
instruction of the committee of June 26, 1818, viz. : 

" 1. That it be communicated to the missionaries there 
that the conference and the committee never intended that 
the missionaries sent out by them should invade the socie- 
ties raised up by the preachers appointed by the American 
conference, and to divide them ; but that they should com- 
municate the benefits of the Christian ministry to those 


parts of the country where the inhabitants are destitute of 
them, and to labor in those towns and villages where the 
population is so large that the addition of their labors to 
those of other ministers is demanded by the moral neces- 
sities of the people. 

" The foregoing resolutions will, we hope, satisfy your- 
self and the American conference that the British confer- 
ence and the missionary committee in London feel sorry 
that any interference should have ever taken place between 
your missionaries and those sent by the British confer- 
ence, who most earnestly wish that their missionaries may 
labor in harmony with all good men. 

" Praying that Christian kindness and good-will may 
prevail and abound, we are, dear sir, with Christian affec- 
tion, your obedient servants, 

"Jabez Bunting, 
Richard Watson, 
Jos. Taylor, 

General Secretaries.''^ 

Though the final result of this negotiation could not 
be known until some time after the adjournment of the 
conference, yet it seems most proper to finish the account 
of it in this place. And it is recorded with the more 
pleasure, because it evinces the disposition and determi- 
nation, on the part of both the English and American 
conferences, not to allow the collisions which had un- 
happily occurred in Canada between individual preach- 
ers of the two connections to interrupt their harmony, 
or to weaken the strength of their friendship and fra- 
ternal regards. 

Mr. Emory bore with him to the British conference 
the following address : — 


114 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

''Baltimore, May 27, 1820. 
" The General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in the United States of America, to the British 
conference of ministers and preachers, late in connec- 
tion with the Rev, John Wesley. 

" Reverend and Dear Brethren : — Grace, mercy, 
and peace be multiplied to you, and to the Israel of God 
under your charge, both at home and in foreign countries. 
With a sincere and earnest desire to establish and pre- 
serve the most perfect harmony and peace with you, our 
elder brethren, we have adopted measures for opening 
such friendly intercourse as will, we devoutly pray, tend 
to the accomplishment of this desirable end. 

" Situated so remotely from each other, and under dif- 
ferent forms of civil government, it is believed that no 
mode of correspondence will so effectually unite the Eu- 
ropean and American Methodists as an interchange of 
delegates from our respective conferences. 

" We are encouraged to hope that such correspondence 
will be acceptable to you, from the consideration of the 
visit of Messrs. Black and Bennett, at our last session, 
and from the friendly opinion of our dear brother, the Rev. 
William Black, who has been with us during our present 
sitting in this city. 

" Should such a friendly intercourse be approved, we 
shall receive with cordiality your representative at our 
succeeding sessions, and, with the most sincere friendship 
and affection, reciprocate the visit. 

" The prosperity of your missions, both at home and in 
foreign countries, is matter of praise and thanksgiving to 
the great Head of the church ; and our unceasing prayer 
is, that they still may increase more and more. 

" The last four years have been distinguished by no 
ordinary success within the field of our labor : our borders 
have been greatly enlarged, and the wilderness has budded 


and blossomed as the rose. The last year especially has 
been attended with an abundant outpouring of the Holy 
Spirit, and the increase of our numbers has exceeded that 
of any former year. 

" The jfield of missionary labors is opening and extend- 
ing before us, and the Divine Providence appears to be 
preparing the way for the conversion of the Indian tribes 
on this vast continent. 

" The bearer, the Rev. John Emory, has been appointed 
our delegate to your body, and will be able to give you a 
more particular account of the work under our charge, and 
especially of our commencement and progress in the mis- 
sionary cause. 

" Most earnestly praying that the Methodists may be 
identified in their doctrine, experience, and practice, in 
every part of the world, and that the Father of lights may 
pour upon you and upon us the Spirit of grace, and pre- 
serve us in the unity of faith, and in the fellowship and 
peace of his Son Jesus Christ, we remain, reverend and 
dear brethren, yours in the gospel of our common Lord. 

" Signed by order and in behalf of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, 

" Enoch George, President^ 
Alexander M*Caine, Secretary.^ 

To this address the following answer was sent, toge- 
ther with the resolutions in relation to the existing 
difficulties in Canada : 

"To the General Superintendents of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church in the United States of America. 
" Dear Brethren : — We inclose to your care the 
resolutions passed by the conference after the letters ad- 
dressed to us by the American General Conference, and 
delivered by the Rev. John Emory, had been read and 



116 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

" In addition to the expression of our sentiments con- 
tained in those resokitions, on the renewal of intercourse 
between the two conferences, we are directed to request 
you to convey to your next General Conference our warm- 
est thanks for those declarations of unabated brotherly 
affection toward us and the connection which your letters 
contain, and for the appointment of Mr. Emory as your 

" In him we have recognized the purity of your doc- 
trine and the fervor and simplicity of your piety. We 
have received him, not as a stranger, but as a ' brother 
beloved.' Our hearts are as his heart ; and it will be re- 
membered as one of the most pleasing circumstances con- 
nected with the conference held in this town, that our 
personal intercourse with you was here restored, and that 
this ' work of love' was committed to so able and excel- 
lent a brother, whose public ministrations and addresses in 
our conference have been equally gratifying and instructive 
to us and to our people. 

" From the statements made by Mr. Emory as to the 
progress of the work of God in the United States, we have 
received the greatest satisfaction. We offered our united 
thanksgivings to God that the doctrines of primitive Me- 
thodism, the preaching of which God has so eminently 
owned in the salvation of men and the edification of be- 
lievers, are not only continued among you in their purity, 
but have been so widely extended by your great and per- 
severing efforts ; and that the same holy discipline, in all 
its essential parts, continues, wherever you form societies, 
to guard and confirm the work which God has made to 
prosper in your hands. 

" For the state of our affairs in Great Britain and Ire- 
land, and in our missionary stations, we refer you to Mr. 
Emory, who, as health would allow, has attended our sit- 
tings, and to those publications with which, before his de- 


parture, we shall be happy to furnish him, to be laid before 

" You will see that we have had to rejoice with you in 
the great extension of the work of God into the various 
parts of the British empire, and that the institutions of 
Methodism, which we have proved to be so well adapted 
to promote and to preserve true religion, are known and 
valued in every quarter of the globe. May we, with you, 
be the honored instruments of turning the disobedient to 
the wisdom of the just in every place, and of hastening 
the universal kingdom of our Lord. 

" The resolutions on the disputes in the Canadas were 
adopted after a calm and patient consideration of the case, 
in which we were greatly assisted by Mr. Emory. We 
hope that they will lead to a full adjustment of those dis- 
putes, and that the affection which exists between the two 
connections generally will extend itself to the brethren and 
societies in the Canadas. This is the disposition which 
we shall earnestly inculcate upon those under our care in 
those provinces, and we have full confidence that the same 
care will be taken by you to extinguish every feeling con- 
trary to love among those over whom you have control 
and influence. 

" With earnest prayers for you, dear and honored bre- 
thren, in particular, on whom devolve the general direc- 
tion of the affairs of the great body of Methodists in 
the western world, and labors so severe, but so glori- 
ous, — that you may be filled with wisdom for counsel, 
and strength to fulfil the duties of your great office ; — and 
also praying that all your churches may have rest, and, 
walking in the fear of the Lord, and in the comforts of the 
Holy Ghost, be abundantly multiplied, we are, dear bre- 
thren, yours most affectionately in Christ Jesus, 

"Jabez Bunting, President, 
George Marsden, Secretary. 

''Liverpool, August, 1820." 3 

118 A HISTORY OF THE [1820 

" Resolutions of the British Conference on American Affairs. 

" 1 . That the conference embraces with pleasure this 
opportunity of recognizing that principle which, it is hoped, 
will be permanently maintained, — that the Wesleyan Me- 
thodists are one in every part of the world. 

" 2. That the British conference has frequently rejoiced 
in the very favorable account which they have received, 
year after year, of the great and glorious work which God 
is graciously carrying on in the United States of America ; 
but that it is with peculiar pleasure that they receive a 
representative from the General Conference in America. 
The statement given by our beloved brother, Mr. Emory, 
of the present state of Methodism in America, has been 
received with much joy; and the conference also expresses 
its high satisfaction, not only in the declaration, but in the 
proof, of the love of our American brethren in fully open- 
ing the way for a brotherly intercourse between the Euro- 
pean and the American societies. 

"3. The conference particularly rejoices in the zeal which 
is manifested by our American brethren in carrying the 
gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Indian tribes, and 
in the success which God has already given to their la- 
bors in that natural and moral wilderness : and hopes that 
the time is drawing near when the aborigines of that vast 
continent shall become the mild and gentle followers of 
our gracious Redeemer. 

" 4. That it is the earnest wish of this conference that 
the kind and friendly intercourse which is now opened 
between the British and the American conference should 
be continued ; and that, prior to the time of holding the 
next General Conference in America, the British confer- 
ence will appoint one or more of their body to visit our 
brethren in America, to be present at their General Con- 

*' 5. That a letter shall be sent to the American brethren, 


containing tKese resolutions, and strongly expressing our 
high approbation of the selection of our highly esteemed 
brother, Mr. Emory, as their representative to our confer- 
ence, and of our earnest desire and prayer that, in the spirit 
of Christian love, we may ever be one in Christ Jesus. 

"6. That there shall be a regular exchange of Mi- 
nutes, magazines, missionary reports and notices, and all 
new original works, published by the European and Ame- 
rican Methodists, from their respective book rooms. 

" On the subject of the unpleasant circumstances which 
have occurred in the Canadas between the American 
preachers and our missionaries, referred to the conference 
by the missionary committee in London, with their opinion 
that Upper Canada shall be left in possession of the Ame- 
rican brethren, and that our missionary exertions shall be 
confined to the lower province, this committee recommend 
to the conference the adoption of the following principles 
and arrangements : — 

" 1. That, as the American Methodists and ourselves 
are but one body, it would be inconsistent with our unity, 
and dangerous to that affection which ought to character- 
ize us in every place, to have different societies and con- 
gregations in the same towns and villages, or to allow of 
any intrusion on either side into each other's labors. 

" 2. That this principle shall be the rule by which the 
disputes now existing in the Canadas, between our mis- 
sionaries, shall be terminated. 

" 3. That the simplest and most effectual manner of 
carrying this rule into effect appears to us to be, to accede 
to the suggestion of the American conference, that the 
American brethren shall have the occupation of Upper 
Canada, and the British missionaries that of Lower Ca- 
nada, allowing sufficient time for carrying this arrange- 
ment into effect, with all possible tenderness to existing 
prejudices and conflicting interests on both sides ; the 


120 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

arrangement to be completed within a period to be fixed 
as early as possible by the missionary committee. But 
should insuperable difficulties occur in the attempt to exe- 
cute this plan, (which, however, we do not anticipate,) 
either party shall be at liberty to propose any other mode 
of accommodation which shall assume as its basis the 
great principle laid down in the first of these resolutions, 
and which we are of opinion should be held most sacred 
in every part of the world. 

" 4. That if hereafter it shall appear to any of our bre- 
thren there, either British missionaries or American 
preachers, that any place on either side the boundary line, 
now mentioned, needs religious help, and presents a fa- 
vorable opportunity for usefulness, the case shall be 
referred by the Canada district meeting to the General 
Conference, or by that body to the Canada district ; and 
if either shall formally decline to supply the place on their 
own side the boundary, then the other shall be at liberty 
to supply the said place, without being deemed to have 
violated the terms of this friendly compact. 

" 5. And it shall be explicitly understood in this ar- 
rangement, that each party shall be bound to supply with 
preachers all those stations and their dependencies which 
shall be relinquished by each of the connections, that no 
place on either side shall sustain any loss of the ordinances 
of religion in consequence of this arrangement. 

" 5. That the missionary committee be directed to ad- 
dress a letter to the private and official members, trustees, 
&c., under the care of our missionaries in Upper Canada, 
informing them of the judgment of the conference, and 
affectionately and earnestly advising them to put them- 
selves and their chapels under the pastoral care of the 
American preachers, with the suggestion of such consider- 
ations, to incline them to it, as the committee may judge 
most proper. 


" 7. That the bishops of the American connection shall 
direct a similar letter to the private and official members, 
trustees, &c., under the care of the American preachers in 
the province of Lov^er Canada, requesting them to put 
themselves and their chapels under the care of the British 

The instructions to the missionarieSj sent out in pur- 
suance of the above arrangement, are so replete with 
Christian urbanity and kindnesSj and so fully exem- 
plify the spirit by which all Christian associations should 
be actuated in their intercourse with each other, that I 
am persuaded the reader will be gratified with their pe- 
rusal. They are as follows : 

" Copy of a letter of instructions from the Missionary Com' 

mittee in London, to the Rev. Messrs, R. Williams and 

the other British missionaries in the provinces of Canada. 

" Dear Brother : — Herewith we transmit you a copy 

of resolutions, passed at our late conference, on the subject 

of the disputes which have unhappily existed between our 

American brethren and us, relative to our missions in 


" The preceding resolutions are general, and refer to 
the renewal of the intercourse, by personal deputation, 
between the American and British conferences, by the 
visit of Mr. Emory. We have given you the resolutions 
in full, that you may see that we have recognized the prin- 
ciple that the Methodist body is one throughout the world, 
and that therefore its members are bound to cordial affec- 
tion and brotherly union. 

" The resolutions of the committee, passed some time 
ago, and forwarded for your guidance, prohibiting any in- 
terference with the work of the American brethren, would 
show you that the existence of collisions between us and 
them gave us serious concern, and that the committee were 
Vol. IIL— 6 

122 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

anxious to remove, as far as they, at that time, were ac- 
quainted with the circumstances, every occasion of dispute. 

" Certainly the case of Montreal chapel was one which 
we could never justify to our minds, and the committee 
have in many instances had but a partial knowledge of the 
real religious wants of the upper province, and of its means 
of supply. The only reason we could have for increasing 
the number of missionaries in that province was, the pre- 
sumption of a strong necessity, arising out of the destitute 
condition of the inhabitants, the total want, or too great dis- 
tance of ministers. 

" On no other ground could we apply money raised for 
missionary purposes for the supply of preachers to Upper 
Canada. The information we have had for two years past 
has all served to show that the number of preachers em- 
ployed there by the American brethren was greater than 
we had at first supposed, and was constantly increasing. 

" To us, therefore, it now appears, that though there 
may be places in that province which are not visited, they 
are within the range, or constantly coming within the 
range, of the extended American itinerancy ; and that Up- 
per Qanada does not present to our efforts a ground so 
fully and decidedly missionary as the lower province, 
where much less help exists, and a great part of the popu- 
lation is involved in popish superstition. 

" We know that political reasons exist in many minds 
for supplying even Upper Canada, as far as possible, with 
British missionaries ; and however natural this feeling 
may be to Englishmen, and even praiseworthy, when not 
carried too far, it will be obvious to you that this is a 
ground on which, as a missionary society, and especially 
as a society under the direction of a committee which re- 
cognizes as brethren, and one with itself, the American 
Methodists, we cannot act. 

" 1. Because, as a missionary society, we cannot lay it 


down as a principle that those whose object is to convert 
the world shall be prevented from seeking and saving souls 
under a foreign government, for we do not thus regulate 
our own efforts. 

"2. To act on this principle would be to cast an odium 
upon our American brethren, as though they did not con- 
duct themselves peaceably under the British government, 
which is, we believe, contrary to the fact. 

" 3. That if any particular exceptions to this Christian and 
submissive conduct were, on their part, to occur, we have 
not the least right to interfere, unless, indeed, the Ameri- 
can conference obviously neglected to enforce upon the 
offending parties its own discipline. Upon any political 
feeling which may exist, either in your minds or in the 
minds of a party in any place, we cannot therefore pro- 
ceed.' Our objects are purely spiritual, and our American 
brethren and ourselves are one body of Christians, sprung 
from a common stock, holding the same doctrines, enforc- 
ing the same discipline, and striving in common to spread 
the light of true religion through the world. 

" In conformity with these views, we have long thoucrht 
it a reproach, and doing more injury, by disturbing the 
harmony of the two connections, than could be counterba- 
lanced by any local good, that the same city or town 
should see two congregations, and two societies, and two 
preachers, professing the same form of Christianity, and 
yet thus proclaiming themselves rivals to each other, and, 
in some instances, invading each other's societies and 
chapels, and thus producing party feelings. The purposes 
of each, we are ready to allow, have been good, though 
mistaken ; and we rather blame ourselves for not having 
obtained more accurate information on some particulars, 
than intimate any dissatisfaction with the missionaries in 
the Canadas, with whose zeal and labors we have so much 
reason to be satisfied. 


124 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

" A part of the evil has also arisen from the want of 
personal communication, by deputation, between the two 
conferences, now happily established. These considera- 
tions had long and seriously occupied our minds before 
the arrival of Mr. Emory, charged by the General Ameri- 
can Conference to bring these matters under our consider- 
ation. The committee, previous to the conference, went 
with him fully into the discussion of the disputes in the 
Canadas, and recommended those principles of adjustment 
which the conference, after they had been referred to a 
special committee during the time of its sitting, adopted, 
and which we now transmit to all the brethren in the Ca- 
nada station. 

" You will consider these resolutions as the fruit of a 
very ample inquiry, and of serious deliberation. 

" None of the principles here adopted by us do indeed go 
farther than to prevent interference with each other's la- 
bors among the American and British missionaries, and 
the setting up of ' altar against altar' in the same city, town, 
or village ; but, knowing that circumstances of irritation 
exist, and that too near a proximity might, through the in- 
firmity of human nature, lead to a violation of that union 
which the conference has deemed a matter of paramount 
importance to maintain, we have thought it best to adopt a 
geographical division of the labor of each, and that the 
upper province should be left to the American brethren 
and the lower to you. The reasons for this are, 

" 1. That the upper province is so adequately supplied 
by the American conference as not to present that pressing 
case of necessity which will justify our expending our 
funds upon it. 

"2. That Mr. Emory has engaged that its full supply by 
American preachers shall be, as far as possible, attended to. 

" 3. That this measure at once terminates the dispute 
as to Montreal. 


" 4. That it -will prevent collision without sacrifice of 
public good. 

" 5. That Lower Canada demands our efforts rather 
than Tipper, as being more destitute, and the labors of the 
brethren there being more truly missionary. 

" A transfer of societies and places of preaching will 
of course follow. Our societies in Upper Canada are to 
be put under the care of the American brethren ; theirs in 
the lower province under yours. 

" It is clear that this, under all circumstances, will re- 
quire prudent and wise management, and we depend upon 
you to carry the arrangement into effect in the same spirit 
of kindness and temper in which the question has been 
determined by the conference and Mr. Emory. 

" Feel that you are one with your American brethren, 
embarked in the same great cause, and eminently of the 
same religious family, and the httle difficulties of arrange- 
ment will be easily surmounted ; and if any warm spirits 
(which is probable) rise up to trouble you, remember that 
you are to act upon the great principle sanctioned by the 
conference, and not upon local prejudices. The same ad- 
vices Mr. Emory has pledged himself shall be given to 
the American preachers, and you will each endeavor to 
transfer the same spirit into the societies respectively. 
When the preachers recognize each other as brethren, the 
people will naturally fall under the influence of the same 

" We have appointed our respected brethren, Messrs. 
Williams and Hick, who are to choose as an associate a 
third preacher in full connection, to meet an equal number 
of preachers to be appointed by the American bishop, who 
shall agree upon the time in which the chapels and socie- 
ties shall be mutually transferred, and the arrangements 
of the conference be carried into effect. The place of 
the meeting they are to fix for their mutual convenience, 

126 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

but the meeting is to be held as early as possible after the 
receipt of the instructions of the committee, that the report 
of the final adjustment of the affair may appear in your 
next district minutes. 

" We conclude with our best wishes for your personal 
happiness and usefulness. May you ever go forth in the 
* fulness of the blessing of the gospel of peace,' and be 
made the honored instruments of winning many souls to 
the knowledge and obedience of the faith of our Lord 
Jesus Christ. 

" We are, dear brother, yours very affectionately, 

"Jos. Taylor, 
Richard Watson, 

" Wesleyan Mission House, 77 Hatton ) 
Garden, 23d August, 1820." ] 

As it was agreed that our bishops should send similar 
instructions to those brethren to whom the carrying the 
above resolutions into practical effect should be com- 
mitted, the following communication was sent to the 
Rev. William Case : — 

" Alexandria, (D. C.,) Oct. 16, 1820. 

" Dear Brother: — I transmit you herewith a copy of 
the resolutions of the late British conference, received 
through brother Emory, our representative to that body, on 
the subjects embraced in his mission ; and also of the in- 
structions of the missionary committee in London to the 
Rev. Messrs. R. Williams and the other British missiona- 
ries in the provinces of Canada, predicated on those reso- 

" From these documents you will perceive that the desire 
of our General Conference, both for the establishment of a 
personal intercourse by deputation between the two con- 
nections, and for the amicable adjustment of the afflicting 


differences in the Canadas, has been happily accomplished. 
Indeed it appears, not only from those papers, but from 
the communications of our representative, that this desire 
was met, both by the British conference and the missionary 
committee, Avith a promptness and brotherly affection 
which we should take equal pleasure in acknowledging 
and reciprocating. 

" This it now devolves upon me (my colleagues being 
necessarily at a great distance, in the discharge of their 
official duties in the south and west) to enjoin it upon you 
to do ; and to promote the same spirit of kindness toward 
our British brethren, among all the preachers, traveling 
and local, and all the official and private members within 
your district, to the utmost extent of your power. 

" To remove the prejudices and allay the unpleasant 
excitements existing will, no doubt, require much prudent 
care. But in this ' labor of love' I expect in you a ready 
mind. Let the difiiculties you may meet with only stimu- 
late you to the exertion of your best and most persevering 
efforts in this behalf. Remember, ' Blessed are the peace- 
makers.' ' Seek peace, then, and ensue it,' If it even 
seem to flee from you, follow it : ' Looking diligently, lest 
any man fail of the grace of God ; lest any root of bitter- 
ness, springing up, trouble you, and thereby many be 

" In the present state of things, (your acquaintance with 
which renders detail unnecessary,) we have thought it best 
to agree to a division of our field of labors in the Canadas 
by the provincial line. In the expediency of this measure 
you will see that the missionary committee in London and 
the British conference have concurred ; so that our labors 
there are to be confined, in future, to the upper province, 
and those of the British missionaries to the lower. 

" A transfer of societies and places of preaching will of 
course follow. Our societies in Lower Canada are to be 


128 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

put under the care of our British brethren, and theirs, in 
the upper province, under ours. 

" For the execution of these arrangements I have ap- 
pointed brother Ryan and yourself, with authority to asso- 
ciate with you a third preacher in full connection, to meet 
the Rev. Messrs. R. Williams and Hick, appointed by the 
missionary committee, and such other preacher as they 
may associate with them. The time and place of meet- 
ing you will agree on with them, for your mutual conve- 
nience. The missionary committee have instructed their 
agents that the meeting is to be held as early as possible 
after the receipt of the instructions of the committee, that 
the report of the final adjustment of the affair may appear 
in the next district minutes. In this we concur. You 
will, therefore, immediately on the reception of these in- 
structions, in conjunction with brother Ryan and your as- 
sociate, correspond with the Rev. Messrs. Williams and 
Hick and their associate on the subject ; and fail not to 
use every means in your power for the prompt execution 
of the arrangements in the best faith, and in the most har- 
monious and affectionate manner. In the lanffuacre of the 
missionary committee we cordially unite to say, * Feel that 
you are one with your' British 'brethren, embarked in the 
same great cause, and eminently of the same religious 
family, and the little difficulties of arrangement will be 
easily surmounted; and if any warm spirits rise up to 
trouble you, remember that you are to act on the great 
principles now sanctioned and avowed by the two connec- 
tions, and not upon local prejudices.' If each endeavor to 
transfuse this spirit into the societies respectively, the 
people will much more easily be brought under the influ- 
ence of the same feeling, when it shall be found to pos- 
sess and actuate the preachers. In any event, let there 
be no deficiency on your part in spirit, word, or deed. We 
commit to you a sacred work, which you are bound to 


perform, not only as to the matter, but in the manner, in 
the temper, in which, as these instructions are intended to 
show you, we ourselves would perform it, could we be 
present. Attend strictly to this, that we may have joy 
and consolation in your love, the bowels of the saints being 
refreshed by you ; and forward to us, as early as possible, 
regular and full copies of all your correspondence and 
proceedings in this business. 

" Should it be found practicable to complete the arrange- 
ments previously to the next Genesee annual conference, 
you will of course take care to provide for the supply of 
those circuits, societies, and places of preaching in the 
upper province which may be transferred to us by our 
British brethren, as they are to provide for those which 
are to be simultaneously transferred to them in the lower 
province. You will also take care, from time to time, to 
extend supplies to any remaining places which may be 
found destitute in the upper province, as far as possible. 

" There are several circuits, I believe, in Lower Ca- 
nada, attached to the New-York and New-England con- 
ferences. These are included in the arrangement. You 
will therefore forward a copy of these instructions to each 
of the presiding elders within whose districts those cir- 
cuits are embraced, and request them to be prepared to 
co-operate with you in the final execution of the business, 
and to report the same at their ensuing annual conferences 

" The missionary committee in London having kindly 
furnished us with a copy of their instructions, we shall 
transmit a copy of these I noAv send you to them. You 
will also show them, when you meet, to the Rev. Messrs. 
Williams and Hick and their associate, and, if they desire 
it, give them a copy, that you may go on in this good work 
as we have happily begun, with that frankness and kind- 
ness which become brethren in such a cause. 

6* 3 

130 A insTOKY OF THE [1820. 

" By the sixth resolution of the British conference on 
the Canadian business, it is provided that tlie missionary- 
committee be directed to address a letter to the private 
and ofiicial members, trustees, &c., under the care of the 
missionaries in Upper Canada, informing them of the 
judgment of the conference, and aUcctionatcly and ear- 
nestly advising them to put themselves and their chapels 
under the pastoral care of the American preachers, with 
the suggestion of such considerations to incline them to it 
as the committee may judge most proper. And by the 
seventh resolution it is provided that we shall address a 
similar letter to the private and official members, trustees, 
&c., under our care. I accordingly inclose a letter which 
you will use for this purpose, after you have met with 
Messrs. Williams and Hick, &c., and agreed with them 
on the time of making the transfer of the societies, cha- 
pels, &c., but not to be used before. At the same time, 
after this meeting and agreement, you will also forward a 
copy of this letter to each of the presiding elders in ihe 
New-York and New-England conferences whose districts 
embrace circuits in Lower Canada, to be used by them. 

" Confiding in your faithful discharge of the several 
trusts committed to you, I commend you to the Lord, and 
remain, dear brother, yours in love. 

"Wm. M'Kendree." 

The following was also addressed to the brethren 
therein mentioned in Lower Canada : — 

" To the private and official members, trustees, &c,, of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church in Lower Canada. 
"VervDear Brethren: — You are aware that, for 
several years past, very unpleasant collisions have occurred 
in various parts both of the upper and lower provinces, be- 
tween the British missionaries and some of our brethren. 
This has been a source of great affliction to us, and has 


led to the adoption of various and successive measures for 
the correction of the evil. 

" Our late General Conference, being earnestly desirous 
of restoring the amicable relations of the two connections, 
authorized the deputation of a representative to the British 
conference for this purpose. One was accordingly sent. 
And, after a deliberate investigation, it has been mutually 
thought best, for the sake of peace and love, under all the 
circumstances of the case, to divide our labors in the Ca- 
nadas in such a manner as to guard effectually against all 
collisions in future. 

" With this view, it has been agreed that our British 
brethren shall supply the lower province and our preachers 
the upper ; yet so that no circuits or societies on either 
side shall be left destitute by the other. This has been 
sacredly attended to, and mutual pledges for the perform- 
ance of it have been passed. It now becomes our duty, 
therefore, to inform you of this agreement, and to advise 
you, in the most affectionate and earnest manner, to put 
yourselves and your chapels under the care of our British 
brethren, as their societies and chapels in the upper pro- 
vince will be put under ours. 

" This communication to you, we confess, is not made 
without pain ; not from any want of affection for our 
British brethren, but from the recollection of those tender 
and endearing ties which have bound us to you. But a 
necessity is laid upon us. It is a peace-offering. No 
other consideration could have induced us to consent to 
the measure. Forgive, therefore, our seeming to give you 
up. We do not give you up in heart, in affection, in kind 
regards, in prayers. 

" The British and American connections have now mutu- 
ally recognized each other as one body of Christians, 
sprung from a common stock, holding the same doctrines, 
of the same religious family, and striving in common to 


132 A HISTORY OF THE [1820 

speed the light of true religion through the world ; and 
they have agreed to keep up a regular intercourse by de- 
putation, in future, for the maintenance of this brotherly 

" Let any past differences, therefore, be forgotten. Let 
them be buried for ever. Confirm your love toward our 
British brethren, and receive them as ourselves ; — not as 
strangers, but as brothers beloved. By this shall all men 
know that we are Christ's disciples, if we love one another. 
Love is of God, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in 
God, and God in him. May the God of love and peace 
be with you, and crown you with the blessedness of con- 
tributing with us to heal the wounds of the Church, and to 
establish that ' fellowship of the Spirit' which shall enable 
us to say, ' Behold how good and how pleasant it is for 
brethren to dwell together in unity ! It is like the pre- 
cious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the 
beard, even Aaron's beard, that went down to the skirts 
of his garments. As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew 
that descended upon the mountain of Zion : for there the 
Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.' 

" For any farther information that you may desire I re- 
fer you to the presiding elder, to whom it is given in 
charge to make this communication to you ; and remain, 
dear brethren, with the same affection for you, in the bonds 
of the gospel of peace, and the best wishes and prayers 
for your happiness and salvation, 

" Wm. M'Kendree. 

^' Aleccandria, (D. C.,) October 16, 1820." 

These proceedings gave general satisfaction, and 
tended not a little to allay the uneasiness which had 
resulted from the collisions of individuals in the two 
provinces, as well as to soften the asperities of those who 
had suflfered the heat of party zeal to carry them be- 


yond the bounds of Christian moderation. This result 
also shows how little the individual and local interests 
of a few affect those whose position gives them a com- 
manding and impartial view of the whole ground of 
controversy, and who consequently feel for the whole 
as for every part, and for every part as for the whole. 
And it is no small commendation of the Christian spirit 
by which each of the contracting parties was actuated, 
to find them thus ready to sacrifice individual and local 
interests for the sake of binding the entire Methodist 
family together in one great brotherhood. 

An improved edition of our Hymn Book was ordered 
by this General Conference to be printed by the book 
agents. The first hymn book printed in this country 
for the use of the members and friends of our Church 
was small, containing, to be sure, a choice selection, but 
not a sufficient variety of hymns to suit the different 
states of the human heart, and the several subjects 
which might be introduced into the pulpit, and other 
exercises of social worship and private devotion. This 
had been remedied, as was supposed, by adding, in 
1808, a second book, consisting chiefly of hymns taken 
from the original hymns of John and Charles Wesley ; 
but, unhappily, those who made this selection had taken 
the liberty to alter many of the hymns, by leaving out 
parts of stanzas, altering words, shortening or lengthen- 
ing hymns, without much judgment or taste. By this 
injudicious method the poetry was often marred, and 
the sentiment chanored much for the worse. 

These things led the New- York conference, at its 
session in 1819, to request the book committee in New- 
York, in conjunction with the book agents, to prepare a 
revised edition of our Hymn Book, to be presented to 


134 A inSTORV OF THE [1820. 

this General Conference, which was done accordingly. 
The conference approved of tlie copy, and ordered it to 
he printed. Tlie following extract from the preface 
will show the extent of and reasons for the alterations : 

" The Hymn Book heretofore in use among us has been 
thought by many to be defective, partly on account of the 
mutilated state of some of the hymns, and partly because 
of its being divided into two books. To remedy these in- 
conveniences, measures have been adopted to prepare a 
revised edition of our Hymn Book, such a one as should 
exclude the defects and retain the excellences of the one 
heretofore published. 

" The greater pari of the hymns contained in the former 
edition are retained in this, and several from Wesleys' and 
Coke's collections, not before published in this country, 
are added. The principal improvements which have been 
made consist in restoring those which had been altered, 
as is believed, for the worse, to their original state, as they 
came from the poetical pen of the Wesleys ; for the fol- 
lowing hymns were, except a few which have been taken 
from other authors, composed by the Rev. John and Charles 
Wesley — names that will ever be held dear and in high 
estimation by every lover of sacred poetry." 

This edition of the Hymn Book has been in use ever 
since, unaltered, except the addition of the names of the 
tunes at the head of each hymn, and, in 1836, of a 
supplement, which was prepared in conformity to the 
recommendation of the General Conference of 1832. 

Up to this time our people had not been furnished 
with a tune book suited to the various metres of our 
most excellent hymns. This General Conference or- 
dered the editors to adopt such measures as they might 
judge most fit to supply this deficiency ; and they ac- 


cordingly, soon after the adjournment of conference, 
appointed a committee of competent persons to make a 
selection of such tunes as were needed to enable our 
congregations to use, in their devotional exercises, any 
and every hymn in the published collection they might 
choose, without being compelled to omit, for the want 
of a suitable tune, those particular metres especially, 
v/hich are among the most experimental, spiritual, and 
poetical in the book. The following preface to this 
collection of tunes will show the reasons for and the 
manner in which the work was accomplished : — 

" Singing forms such an interesting and important 
branch of divine service, that every effort to improve the 
science of sacred music should meet with corresponding 
encouragement. Nothing tends more, when rightly per- 
formed, to elevate the mind, and tune it to the strains of 
pure devotion. Hence the high estimation in Avhich it has 
been constantly held by the Christian church. Indeed, 
every considerable revival of true godliness has been at- 
tended, not only with the cultivation and enlargement of 
knowledge in general, but of sacred poetry and music in 
particular. Singing and making melody in the heart to 
the Lord is the natural result of having the love of God 
shed abroad in the heart by the Holy Spirit. The melo- 
dious notes of many voices, harmoniously uniting to sound 
the praises of God, cannot but inspire the heart of the 
Christian to devotion, and elevate the affections to things 
spiritual and divine. Who, then, can be uninterested m 
the improvement of a science so beneficial to the church 
of God ! What heart that has ever vibrated to the inspir- 
ing sounds of sacred and vocal music, but must exult in 
every attempt that is made to cultivate and diffuse the 
knowledge of this useful auxiliary in spreading the know- 
ledge of God our Saviour ! 


136 A HISTORY OF THE [1820- 

" Though ihc Methodist Episcopal Church has never 
been insensible to the advantages resulting from the knovs^- 
ledge and practice of vocal music, having always used it 
— perhaps more than most other denominations of Chris- 
tians — in public assemblies and private associations ; yet 
a suitable tune book, adapted to the various hymns and 
metres of its Hymn Book, has long been a desideratum in 
its spiritual economy. Several efforts, indeed, have been 
made, by individuals, to supply this deficiency. The sub- 
ject vras brought before the General Conference at its last 
session ; and it was finally referred to the discretion of 
the book agents. 

" Believing such a collection of tunes, as should be 
suited to the various metres and subjects of our hymns, 
would be higlily advantageous to the members and friends 
of our Church, soon after the conference closed its session, 
the agents adopted measures to accomplish this very de- 
sirable object For this purpose a committee, consisting 
of members of our Church, was appointed, who, besides 
their competency to this undertaking, felt a deep interest 
in the reputation and utility of this very important part of 
divine service. They were requested, in conformity as 
nearly as practicable to the requisition of our Discipline, 
to make a selection of tunes from authors of approved 
merit, keeping in view the various sections of our widely 
extended connection, that the peculiarity of taste, in the 
choice of tunes, might, as far as possible, be gratified. 
They entered upon their labor with cheerfulness, and per- 
severed with conscientious care and diligence until they 
brought their work to a close : and the tunes comprised in 
the following selection will evince the result of their ex 
ertions, and their communication to the agents, with which 
we close this preface, will explain the manner in which 
they executed the trust confided to them. 


" ' Dear Brethren : — Your committee, whose task it 
has been, by your request, to compile a book of tunes for 
the use of the Methodist Episcopal Church, report : That 
they have been fully aware of the extreme difficulty of 
making such a collection of tunes as should in all respects 
be accommodated either to the fancy or taste of every sec- 
tion of our widely extended connection. In the use of any 
particular style of tunes, so much generally depends upon 
education, local feelings, or mental constitution, that, except 
with those who are skilled in the science of music, the 
choice of a tune is seldom caused by a discovery of its in- 
trinsic worth, or its adaptation to the solemnities of Chris- 
tian worship. Your committee, therefore, will neither be 
surprised nor disappointed if their selection, in coming be- 
fore the public, meet with some of those discouragements 
which have attended works of a similar nature. 

'' ' Your committee, however, have not been regardless 
of the partialities of our societies in different parts of the 
Union. They have availed themselves of standard works 
which have obtained celebrity in the eastern and southern 
states, as well as those that are in general use among us. 
The best European authors have also been consulted. 
Books edited by members of our Church, or with a design 
to suit our Hymn Book, have received particular attention. 
They have neglected no means of ascertaining the wishes 
of our friends, and of accommodating, as far as possible, 
their plan to those wishes. 

" ' It may be proper to suggest that the primary object 
of your committee has been, not to prepare a collection of 
tunes for social circles or singing associations, (though 
they hope the work will not be unacceptable even in this 
light,) but, according to your own directions, for the use 
of worshiping congregations. They have therefore, in the 
first place, carefully avoided the choice of all such tunes 
as, from the intricacy or unsuitableness of their style, are 


138 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

incapable of being easily learned by ordinary congrega- 
tions ; for one of the most important objects of public 
singing is lost when every tuneful voice in the house of 
God cannot join in the solemn exercise. 

" ' Secondly, In cordial approbation of that clause of 
our Discipline which disapproves of fugue tunes, they have 
(with the exception of a very few, the use of which has 
been established by general practice) passed by those dis- 
tinguished by that peculiarity. 

" ' Thirdly, In order to assist leaders of singing, they 
have carefully affixed over each hymn in the new Hymn 
Book the name of such tune as, in their opinion, is suita- 
ble to that hymn. 

" ' Your committee have thought proper to insert brief 
instructions in the rudiments of music, which will be found 
of great utility where the work is introduced into singing 

" ' Thus, after the labor of nearly a twelvemonth, your 
committee have the pleasure of delivering into your hands 
the result of their joint exertions : they are happy in hav- 
ing this opportunity of contributing their part toward the 
improvement of one of the most delightful, as well as one 
of the most devotional parts of divine worship. Uninflu- 
enced by the expectation or desire of any pecuniary re- 
compense, they only wish as a reward for their labors the 
approbation of their brethren, beloved in Christ, who com- 
pose the general and annual conferences, and that of the 
membership of the Methodist Church. We have long 
needed a work which might be considered as a standard 
of music for our connection in America. That which 
your committee present to you is an attempt for this, ac- 
cording to the best of their judgment. 

" ' Finally, praying that the blessing of Heaven may 
accompany their efforts, they would subjoin the language 
of our bishops as a just expression of their own sentiments : 


" We exhort all to sing with the Spirit and with the un 
derstanding also ; and thus may the high praises of God 
be set up from east to west, from north to south ; and we 
shall be happily instrumental in leading the devotion of 
thousands, and shall rejoice to join them in time and eter- 
nity." — All which is respectfully submitted. 
'''New-York, October 23, 1821.'" 

This book continued in use until 1832, when a re- 
vised edition of these tunes was published, in obedience 
to the orders of the General Conference. In 1836, be- 
lieving that a greater variety of tunes was needed to 
meet the wants of our growing Church, better suited to 
the various tastes and peculiar habits of the several sec- 
tions of our country, our book agents and editors adopted 
the very judicious course of selecting a committee com- 
posed of a member from Boston, New- York, Philadel- 
phia, and Baltimore, who prepared the edition now in 
use, and which, I believe, gives general satisfaction. 

With a view to prevent, as far as practicable, our 
people from running heedlessly into debt in procuring 
houses of worship, to secure them permanently for the 
use of the ministers and members of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in the places where they should be 
built, as well as to check the practice of selling or rent- 
ing the slips, the following resolutions were adopted, 
and ordered to be incorporated in the Discipline, in an- 
swer to the question, " Is any thing advisable in regard 
to building T 

" 1 . That from, this date no house of worship under our 
charge shall be built, or the building commenced, until the 
site or ground on which such house or houses are to be 
located is secured to the church as our deed of settlement 
directs, and said deed is legally executed. 


140 A HISTORY Ol- THE [1820 

" 2. That from and after this date no house of worship 
under our charge shall be commenced until three-fourths 
of the money necessary to complete the building be in 
hand or subscribed. The estimate of the sum necessary 
for the whole expense of said house or houses to be made 
by a judicious committee, to consist of at least three mem- 
bers of our Church, to be chosen by the quarterly meeting 
conference of the circuit or station in which such house 
or houses are designed to be built. 

" 3. That it be made the duty of each presiding elder 
and preacher in charge to make proper inquiry in their 
districts, circuits, and stations respecting the title we 
have to our houses of worship ; and in all cases where a 
title is found deficient, to adopt the most judicious and 
prudent measures to have them secured as directed in our 
deed of settlement, and whenever a vacancy is found in 
the trusteeship to have it filled, as directed in the Disci- 

" 4. That the practice of building houses with pews, 
and the renting and selling said pews, is contrary to our 
economy, and that it be the duty of the several annual 
conferences to use their influence to prevent such houses 
from being built in future, and, as far as possible, to make 
those free which have already been built with pews. 

" 5. That in future we will admit of no charter, deed, or 
conveyance for any house to be used by us as a house of 
worship, unless it be provided in such charter, deed, or 
conveyance that the trustees of said house shall at all 
times permit such ministers and preachers, belonging to the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, as shall from time to time be 
duly authorized by the General Conference of said Church, 
or by the annual conference, to preach and expound God s 
holy word, and to execute the rules and discipline of the 
Church, and to administer the sacraments therein, according 
to the true meaning and purport of our deed of settlement." 


The rule in reference to the prehminary steps to be 
taken in regard to procuring funds for building churches 
ha^ been but little heeded, our people thinking, proba- 
bly, that they understand this matter better than the 
General Conference, and hence, in many instances, 
debts have been contracted to such an amount as to 
render the situation of the trustees extremely embar- 
rassing, if not indeed almost ruinous. Nor has all that 
has been said and done to prevent the renting or selling 
of shps checked the practice, for it has gone on steadily 
increasing among us in most of the northern confer- 
ences. It would seem, however, that the advocates for 
the exclusive free seat system were determined at this 
conference to make a strong effort to annihilate the 
practice ; for in the first answer to the above question, 
which until now read, " Let all our churches be built 
plain and decent," were added the words, " and with 
free seats." This amendment, however, was not car- 
ried without great opposition from those delegates who 
felt the necessity, either to have no houses at all, or to 
permit them to be built with a view to rent or sell the 

A very important alteration was made at this confer- 
ence in respect to local preachers. Until now they had 
been identified with the quarterly meeting conferences, 
had received their license to preach on the recommenda- 
tion of this meeting, and were amenable to it for their 
moral. Christian, and official conduct, with the privi- 
lege of an appeal to an annual conference in case they 
had been censured, suspended, or expelled by t}}^ quar- 
terly conference. A little uneasiness had been mani- 
fested at times, by some of the local preachers, because 
they thought they had been abridged of some of their 


142 A HISTORY OF THE [1820 

rights, in not being permitted to be examined, licensed, 
and tried by their peers exclusively. To remove the 
cause of their dissatisfaction by granting the privilege 
of transacting the business which related to themselves 
exclusively, this General Conference created a " Dis- 
trict Conferences^'' to be composed of "all the local 
preachers in the" (presiding elder's) ''district who shall 
have been licensed two years." Of this meeting the 
presiding elder of the district, or, in his absence, such 
person as the district meeting might elect for the pur- 
pose, was to be president. This conference was au- 
thorized to grant licenses to proper persons to preach as 
local preachers, to renew their licenses, to recommend 
to annual conferences suitable persons for deacon's or 
elder's orders in the local ministry, for admission on 
trial in an annual conference, to try, suspend, expel, or 
acquit such local preachers as might be accused ; but 
it could not license any man to preach unless he 
were recommended by a quarterly meeting conference : 
in fact, all the powers formerly belonging to the quar- 
terly conference, which related to local preachers, except 
simply the privilege of recommending the candidates to 
the office of local preachers, were transferred to this dis- 
trict conference. 

As was foreseen by some who were opposed to this 
startling innovation upon a long established usage, this 
conference by no means worked well. Many of the 
local preachers themselves were much dissatisfied with 
it, and hence, in various parts of the country, it was 
difficultjto convene a sufficient number to do business ; 
while in others, where they were most active in pro- 
curing the passage of the law creating and defining the 
powers of this conference, a spirit of insubordination, in- 


Compatible with the rights and privileges of the itine- 
rancy, began to manifest itself; and there can be no 
doubt that this injudicious measure, which had been 
presented to and carried through the conference with 
some precipitancy, tended to foment that spirit of radi- 
calism which ended in the secession of the party who 
styled themselves " Reformers," and who have since or- 
ganized under the name of the " Protestant Methodist 

In consequence of witnessing these effects of the pre- 
sent organization, the powers of the district conferences 
were from time to time somewhat abridged, replacing in 
the quarterly meeting conference the power of transact- 
ing the affairs relating to local preachers, where and 
when the district conference did not assemble, until 
finally, in 1836, the district conference was dissolved, 
and its rights, powers, and privileges reverted back to 
the quarterly meeting conference, where they have been 
and are now exercised, to the general satisfaction of all 

As the constitution of our Missionary Society contem- 
plated the co-operation of the General Conference, hav- 
ing given authority to that body to incorporate an article 
for the appointment of missionaries, and for regulating 
the manner in which the funds for their support should 
be drawn, the subject came up for consideration before 
this General Conference, and its deliberations resulted 
in the adoption of the following report, which was 
drawn up, I believe, by the late Bishop Emory : — 

" Your committee regard the Christian ministry as pe- 
culiarly a missionary ministry. ' Go ye into all the world, 
and preach the gospel to every creature,' is the very found- 



144 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

ation of its authority, and develops its character simulta- 
neously with its origin. 

" The success which attended the itinerant and mission- 
ary labors of the first heralds of salvation farther establishes 
the correctness of this view, and demonstrates the divine 
sanction of this method of spreading the gospel. 

" In process of time, however, the missionary spirit de- 
clined, and the spirit of genuine Christianity with it. Then 
it pleased the Lord to raise up the Messrs. Wesleys, 
Whitefield, and others, through whose itinerant and mis- 
sionary labors a great revival of vital piety was commenced, 
the progress and extent of which, at present, your com- 
mittee cannot but regard as cause of unbounded thankful- 
ness and pleasure. 

" The missions of Boardman and Pilmoor, of Wright, of 
Asbury, and others, are events in our history not soon to 
be forgotten. A grateful people feel their happy influence 
and hold their memory dear, and generations yet unborn 
will rise up and call them blessed. 

" Can we, then, be listless to the cause of missions T 
We cannot. Methodism itself is a missionary system. 
Yield the missionary spirit, and you yield the very life- 
blood of the cause. 

" In missionary efforts our British brethren are before 
us. We congratulate them on their zeal and their success. 
But your committee beg leave to entreat this conference to 
emulate their example. The time, indeed, may not yet 
be come in which we should send our missionaries beyond 
seas. Our own continent presents to us fields sufficiently 
vast, which are opening before us, and whitening to the 
harvest. These, it is probable, will demand all the labor- 
ers and all the means which we can command at present. 

" You will permit your committee to mention some of 
those missionary grounds which may have a peculiar 
claim to your first attentions. They are the Canadas, the 


Floridas, the state of Louisiana, the temtories of Arkansas 
and Missouri, our western frontiers generally, having re- 
gard to those who use the French, Spanish, or other fo- 
reign languages, as well as to those who use the English ; 
together with any destitute places in the interior in which 
circuits may not yet have been formed, and where it may 
be judged important to have efficient missions. 

" In a particular manner the committee solicit the atten- 
tion of the conference to the condition of the aborigines of 
our country, the Indian tribes. American Christians are 
certainly under peculiar obligations to impart to them the 
blessings of civilization and Christian light. That there 
is no just cause to despair of success, through grace, in 
this charitable and pious undertaking, is demonstrated by 
the fact that there are already gathered into Church fel- 
lowship about sixty members of the Wyandot tribe, in the 
state of Ohio ; and that a successful mission, under our di- 
rection, is now in operation among them. Why might not 
similar success attend other missions among other tribes ? 
Is the Lord's arm shortened that he cannot save our bro- 
thers of the forest ? or is his ear heavy that he will not 
hear in their behalf? 

" The government of the United States has manifested 
a disposition toward the Indians which may contribute 
much, not only to their civilization, but to their evangeli- 
zation. Ten thousand dollars annually have been appro- 
priated by congress for the establishment of schools among 
them. By this act it is required that the plan of education 
embrace, for the boys, in addition to reading, writing, and 
arithmetic, the practical knowledge of agriculture, and of 
such of the mechanic arts as are suited to the conditio^ 
of the Indians ;.and for the girls, spinning, weaving, and 
sewing. This your committee consider a very judicious 
regulation, and perfectly compatible with the duties of mis- 
sionaries, if men of families, who might be established 

Vol. III.— 7 

146 A HISTORY Of THE [1^20. 

among them, as teachers in those schools, while their 
wives would assist in the instruction of the girls in their 
appropriate departments. The civilization of the Indians 
will promote their evangelization. 

" Indeed, your committee are decidedly of opinion, that 
it is the rising generation among the Indians to whom your 
attention should be chiefly directed ; and that the institu- 
tion of schools among them, on the government plan, and 
under the government patronage, should be your first care. 
It will be necessary, at the same time, in the appointment 
of teachers to select suitable persons, with a view to the 
ulterior object of Christian instruction, both to the youth 
and the adult ; which object, it is evident, will be greatly 
promoted by means of a common language ; by the influ- 
ence which a teacher will have over the youth ; and by 
the free access which will be gained, through them, to 
their parents and friends. This is the course which has 
been pursued by our missionary brethren of the British 
connection in the island of Ceylon, and, your committee 
believe, with great success. 

" Several denominations have already availed themselves 
of the proffered aid of government above mentioned, and 
have flourishing schools, of a missionary character, now 
in operation among different tribes. 

" The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign 
Missions have an establishment of this kind on the Chick- 
amaugah, in the Cherokee country, and another among the 
Choctaws. At the first are about one hundred Indian chil- 
dren, and at the second from forty to sixty. This board 
have also directed their attention to the country west of 
tlie Mississippi, and an establishment similar to those 
above named is already in a state of forwardness there. 
Besides these, branches are organized in different parts of 
the Cherokee and Choctaw countries ; and measures are 
in operation to establish two other principal schools, one 


for the benefit of the Creeks and the other for the Chick- 

" The Baptist society have a school in Kentucky, at the 
Great Crossings, to which fifteen or twenty Indian chil- 
dren have been sent from the Indian country : and they 
are about to organize a school at the Valley Towns, in the 
Cherokee country. 

" At Spring-place, in the Cherokee nation, there has 
been a school for fourteen years, under the care of the 
Moravians, which is said to have been productive of much 

" The United Foreign Missionary Society of New- York 
are about organizing a school west of the Mississippi, and 
also for the benefit of the emigrant Cherokees. It is sup- 
posed they will go into operation in the course of this 
spring and summer. 

" Your committee had felicitated themselves on the 
pleasing and inviting openings for such institutions which 
had appeared, particularly among the Wyandots ; of which 
tribe many, through the instrumentality of our missions, 
have already been turned from darkness to light, and from 
the power of Satan unto God. But while we have been 
delaying, others have stepped in. The agent of that tribe 
has informed a member of your committee that he has 
written to the secretary of war to place the proportion of 
the ten thousand dollars per annum, allowed by congress, 
which may be allotted to that agency, at the disposal of 
the committee of Friends on Indian concerns, in this city ; 
and they have it in contemplation to open three schools, 
the ensuing summer, in the said agency. 

" Your committee hope not to be understood as express- 
ing any regret at the zeal of other denominations in so 
good a cause. Far from it. The mention of this is in- 
tended rather to provoke ourselves to love and to good 
works. There yet is room. 

148 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

" From the above sketch it will be seen how the spirit 
of missions is diffusing itself in our country. It ought to 
be cherished and rightly directed. If we do not cherish it, 
others will. It is of God, and will prevail. 

" Indeed, many of the Indians themselves, bordering on 
our improved settlements, are roused to a sense of their 
deplorable condition. With outstretched arms they cry to 
us, and say, * Come and help us !' Your committee be- 
lieve it a call of Providence, which should be obeyed. 
With these views they submit the following resolutions, 
viz. : — 

" Resolved, by the delegates of the annual conferences 
in General Conference assembled, 

" 1. That this conference do highly approve of the in- 
stitution of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church in the city of New- York, and, on the recom- 
mendation of the managers thereof, do agree to and adopt 
its constitution. 

" 2. That it be, and hereby is, earnestly recommended 
to all the annual conferences to take such measures as they 
may deem most advisable for the establishment of branch 
societies, auxiliary to the parent Methodist Missionary So- 
ciety at New-York, in all convenient and practicable places 
within their bounds ; and that it be the duty of the general 
superintendents to communicate this recommendation to 
the said conferences, and to use their best endeavors and 
influence to have it carried into speedy and general effect 

" 3. That this conference do fully approve of the plan 
of education for the civilization of the Indians, required by 
a circular, in conformity with an act of congress, issued 
from the department of war, by the Hon. J. C. Calhoun, on 
the 3d of September, 1819, and by a supplement thereto, 
issued from the same department on the 29th of February 
last ; and that they do hereby authorize the general super- 
intendents of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and any 


Others who, under their direction, may be engaged in es- 
tablishing, organizing, or conducting such school or schools, 
to act in conformity therewith. 

" 4. That the superintendents be, and hereby are, re- 
quested to keep in view the selection of a suitable mis- 
sionary station — westwardlyor south-westwardly — where a 
person may be appointed, as soon as they may deem it ex- 
pedient, to have charge of the missions which are or may 
be in that direction, in the absence of the general superin- 

" 5. That a more particular and regular attention ought 
to be paid to the instruction of the destitute souls in our 
cities, towns, and countrj^- places ; and that the same be 
and is hereby earnestly urged on all our preachers who 
may be appointed to such places respectively ; and more 
especially in stations where such instructions may be 
given with the greatest regidarity and effect : in which 
good cause the said preachers are advised and requested, 
by all prudent and affectionate means, to engage, as far as 
possible, the aid of our brethren the local preachers. 

" 6. That this conference do highly approve of the pious 
zeal which caused the institution of the Mite Society of 
Philadelphia, for promoting domestic and foreign missions ; 
that the thanks of this conference be, and hereby are, ren- 
dered to the said society for the same, and for their friendly 
address to this conference on the subject; but that, having 
adopted a modified constitution of a missionary society, to 
be established in New- York, from the objects of which the 
publishing of Bibles has been separated, for the reasons 
contained in the said address from Philadelphia, and also 
on the recommendation of the society in New- York, and 
contemplating very important advantages from having the 
parent missionary society located where the Book Con- 
cern is conducted, so that the editor and general book- 
steward for the time being may ah^ays be treasurer thereof, 


150 A HISTORY Of THE [1820. 

this General Conference do respectfully and affectionately 
recommend to the society in Philadelphia to become aux- 
iliary to that in New-York. 

" All which is respectfully submitted. 

•' Wm. Ryland, Chairman. 

" Baltimore, May 15, 1820." 

It will be perceived from the sixth resolution of this 
report ihat our brethren in Philadelphia had also pre- 
sented an address to the conference, in reference to their 
missionary society, and likewise the reasons for the pre- 
ference given to the one which originated in the city of 
New- York; the chief of which was, that the location of 
the parent society might be in the same place with the 
Book Concern, as it was expected that these two insti- 
tutions would greatly aid and mutually support each 
other, and experience has proved that the expectation 
was well founded. 

At the formation of this society it was intended to 
print and circulate Bibles and Testaments gratuitously, 
in connection with spreading the gospel by means of 
missionary labors ; and hence it was called the " Mis- 
sionary and Bible Society of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church ;" but being convinced, upon more mature re- 
flection, that the American Bible Society, which was 
now in successful operation, was fully adequate to the 
task of supplying the community with the sacred Scrip- 
tures, the society recommended to the General Confer- 
ence to strike the word Bible from the title, that it 
might confine its efforts exclusively to missionary la- 
bors, and so more effectually fulfil the primary design 
of its organization. ' This was accordingly done, and 
the word " America^^ was also stricken out, as this was 
unnecessary to designate the character of the society, 


there being no other missionary society of the " Method- 
ist Ejnscopal Chiirch^^ in existence. 

As the original constitution of this society has been 
altered from time to time by the General Conference, 
on the recommendation of the board of managers, that 
the reader may see at once how the affairs of the society 
are conducted, and for what ends, I will insert the con- 
stitution as it now stands, (1839,) without referring to 
the minutiae of those amendments by which it has been 
brought to its present improved character. It is as fol- 
lows : — 


Of the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal 

"Art. 1. This association, denominated 'The Mis- 
sionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church,' 
is established for the express purpose of enabling the se- 
veral annual conferences more effectually to extend their 
missionary labors throughout the United States and else- 
where ; and also to assist in the support and promotion of 
missionary schools and missions in our own and in foreign 

" Art. 2. The payment of two dollars annually shall 
constitute a member ; the payment of twenty dollars at one 
time a member for life. 

" Art. 3. The officers of this society shall consist of a 
president, vice presidents, clerk, treasurer, and assistant 
treasurer, who, together with thirty-two managers, shall 
form a board for the transaction of business. They shall 
all be members of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and 
be annually elected by the society. Each annual confer- 
ence shall have also the privilege of appointing one vice 
president from its own body. 

" Art. 4. There shall also be a resident corresponding 


152 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

secretary appointed by the General Conference, whose 
salary shall be fixed and paid by the board of managers, 
who shall be exclusively employed in conducting the cor- 
respondence of the society, and, under the direction of the 
board, in promoting its general interests, by traveling or 
otherwise. With the approbation of the managers, he may 
employ such assistance, from time to time, as may be 
judged necessary for the interests of the cause ; the com- 
pensation for wliich shall be fixed by the board. He shall 
be, ex officio, a member of the board of managers. Should 
his office become vacant by death, resignation, or other- 
wise, the board shall have power to provide for the duties 
of the office until the next session of the New-York con- 
ference, which, with the concurrence of the presiding 
bishop, shall fill the vacancy until the ensuing General 

" Art. 5. The board shall have authority to make by- 
laws for regulating its own proceedings, to appropriate 
money to defray incidental expenses, and to print books at 
our own press, for the benefit of Indian and other foreign 
missions, fill up vacancies that may occur during the year, 
and shall present a statement of its transactions and funds 
to the society, at its annual meeting, and also shall lay 
before the General Conference a report of its transactions 
for the four preceding years, and the state of its funds. 

" Art. 6. Ordained ministers of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, whether traveling or local, being members of 
this society, shall be, ex officio, members of the board of 

" Art. 7. The annual meeting, for the election of offi- 
cers and managers, shall be held on the third Monday in 
April, in the city of New-York. 

" Art. 8. At all meetings of the society and of the board, 
the president, or, in his absence, the vice president first on 
the list then present, and in the absence of all the vice 


presidents, a member appointed by the meeting for that 
purpose, shall preside. 

" Art. 9. Twenty-five members, at all meetings of the 
society, and thirteen at all meetings of the board of mana- 
gers, shall be a quorum. 

*'Art. 10. The minutes of each meeting shall be 
signed by the chairman. 

"Art. 11. It is recommended, that within the bounds 
of each annual conference there be established a confer- 
ence missionary society, auxiliary to this institution, with 
branches, under such regulations as the conferences shall 
respectively prescribe. Each conference, or other aux- 
iliary society, shall annually transmit to the corresponding 
secretary of this society a copy of its annual report, em- 
bracing the operations of its branches, and shall also no- 
tify the treasurer of the amount collected in aid of the mis- 
sionary cause, which amount shall be subject to the order 
of the treasurer of the parent society, as provided for in 
the thirteenth article. 

" Art. 12. Any auxiliary or branch society may appro- 
priate any part or the whole of its funds to any one indi- 
vidual mission, or more, under the care of this society, 
which special appropriation shall be publicly acknowledged 
by the board : but in the event that more funds be raised 
for any individual mission than is necessary for its sup- 
port, the surplus shall go into the general treasury of the 
parent society, to be appropriated as the constitution di- 

" Art. 13. The treasurer of this society, under the di- 
rection of the board of managers, shall give information to 
the bishops annually, or oftener, if the board judge it ex- 
pedient, of the state of the funds, and the sums which may 
1)e drawn by them for the missionary purposes contem- 
plated by this constitution : agreeably to which informa- 
tion the bishops shall have authority to draw upon the 
7* 3 

154 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

treasurer for any sum within the amount designated, which 
the missionary committee of the annual conferences re- 
spectively shall judge necessary for the support of the 
missions and of the mission schools under their care ; pro- 
vided always, that the sums so allowed for the support of 
a missionary shall not exceed the usual allowance of other 
itinerant preachers. The bishops shall always promptly 
notify the treasurer of all drafts made by them, and shall 
require regular quarterly communications to be made by 
each of the missionaries* to the corresponding secretary 
of the society, giving information of the state and prospects 
of the several missions in which they are employed. No 
one shall be acknowledged a missionary, or receive sup- 
port out of the funds of this society, who has not some de- 
finite field assigned to him, or who could not be an effective 
laborer on a circuit. 

'^ Art. 14. Whenever a foreign mission is to be esta- 
blished, either among the aborigines of our country or 
elsewhere, it shall be the duty of the bishop making such 
appointment immediately to notify the treasurer of the mis- 
sionary society of the place, the number of missionaries to 
be employed, together with the probable amount necessary 
for the support of any such mission ; which information 
shall be laid before the managers of the society ; and they 
shall make an appropriation according to their judgment, 
from year to year, of the amount called for to sustain and 
prosecute the mission or missions designated ; for which 
amount the missionary, or the superintendent of the mis- 
sion or missions, shall have authority to draw on the trea- 
surer of the society, in quarterly or half-yearly instalments. 

" Art. 15. In all cases of the appointment of a mission- 

* The spirit of this requirement is complied with by the 
report of a superintendent of any missionary district, in 
which he embraces a general account of the several missions 
under his care, 


ary, the name of such missionary, and the district in which 
he is to labor, together with the probable expenses of the 
mission, shall be communicated by the bishop or the mis- 
sion committee of each annual conference to the treasurer 
of this society, that a proper record of the same may be 

" Art. 16. This constitution shall not be altered but by 
the General Conference, upon the recommendation of the 
board of managers." 


It was ordered that five hundred copies of the report 
on missions, together with the amended constitution, 
should be immediately printed, that the delegates might 
furnish themselves with copies to carry to their respective 
districts and circuits. 

These doings of the conference in relation to the Mis- 
sionary Society exerted a most fav^orable influence upon 
the cause, and tended mightily to remove the unfounded 
objections which had existed in some minds against this 

Having witnessed much confusion in the conference 
when appeals from the lower tribunals had been pre- 
sented, the following clause was added to the Discipline, 
with a view to regulate the manner in which appeals 
should be hereafter conducted : — 

" In all the above-mentioned cases it shall be the duty 
of the secretary of the annual conference to keep regular 
minutes of the trial, including all the questions proposed 
to the witnesses, and their answers, together with the 
crime with which the accused is charged, the specification 
or specifications, and also preserve all the documents re- 
lating to the case, which minutes and documents only, in 
case of an appeal from the decision of an annual confer- 
ence, shall be presented to the General Conference, in 


156 A HISTORV OF THE [1820. 

evidence on the case. And in all cases when an appeal 
is made, and admitted by the General Conference, the ap- 
pellant shall either state personally or by his representa- 
tive (who shall be a member of the conference) the 
grounds of his appeal, showing cause why he appeals, and 
he shall be allowed to make his defence without intemip- 
tion. After which the representatives of the annual con- 
ference, from whose decision the appeal is made, shall be 
permitted to respond in presence of the appellant, who 
shall have the privilege of replying to such representa- 
tives, which shall close the pleadings on both sides. This 
done, the appellant shall withdraw, and the conference 
shall decide. And after such form of trial and expulsion, 
the person so expelled shall have no privileges of society 
or sacraments in our Church, without confession, contri- 
tion, and proper trial." 

These are all the acts and doings of this conference 
worthy of record, except what has been heretofore no- 
ticed concerning the election and duties of presiding 
elders, and the resolutions regarding the Book Con- 
cern and slavery, which will be noted in another place. 
It may be proper, however, to add, that Nathan Bangs 
was elected principal, and Thomas Mason assistant 
agent and editor of the Book Concern ; and as this con- 
ference resolved to establish a branch at Cincinnati, 
Martin Ruter was appointed to its agency. 

The conference adjourned May the 27th, to meet 
again in the city of Baltimore, May 1, 1824. 

The conflicting opinions in relation to the presiding 
elder question, on slavery, and concerning renting pews 
in churches, and some other matters, had elicited consi- 
derable debate, and sometimes, as is usual on such oc- 
casions, not of the most hallowed and conciliatory cha- 
racter, by which means the feelings of some of the 


members were somewhat chafed, and they went home 
under a state of mind not the most friendly one toward 
another. Time for calm deliberation, however, and the 
mutual interchange of sentiments and feehngs in tlieir 
respective annual conferences, gradually wore away 
this momentary irritation, and restored them to that 
fervor of spirit and devotion to the cause of God by 
which they had been heretofore distinguished. 


From the Close of the General Conference of 1820 to the Beginning 
of the General Conference of 1824. 

AccoRDiNO to the decision of the late General Con- 
ference, there was an additional annual conference cre- 
ated this year called Kentucky, making in all ttoelve. 
This conference, it was stated, " shall include the Ken- 
tucky, Salt River, Green River, and Cumberland dis- 
tricts, and that part of the state of Virginia included in 
the Green Brier and Monroe circuits, heretofore belong- 
ing to the Baltimore conference, and the Kenawa and 
Middle Island circuits, heretofore belonging to the Ohio 

This division of labor into twelve annual conferences 
gave to each effective bishop — for, as Bishop M'Kendree 
had been released from effective labor in consequence 
of his debility, there were but two — six conferences to 
attend, which, in the extension of the work, particularly 
in the west and south-west, made their labors extremely 
arduous. They, however, entered upon their work 
with diligence and zeal ; and although Bishop M'Ken- 


I5d A HISTORY OF THE [1820, 

dree was not required to perform effective service, yet 
he attended as many of the conferences as his strength 
would allow, and was particularly useful in the mission- 
ary department of the work, in which he took a deep 
and Hvely interest. 

Notwithstanding what had been done to supply the 
destitute portions of our country with the word and or- 
dinances of Christianity, there were yet many parts un- 
provided for, particularly in the south-western states and 
territories. The state of Louisiana, which contained at 
this time not less than 220,000 inhabitants, about one 
fourth of whom were slaves, was almost entirely desti- 
tute of evangehcal instruction. About three fourths of 
the population were French Roman Catholics, but few 
of whom could either speak or understand the English 
language, and the greater proportion of these had never 
heard a Protestant minister. 

In this large territory there was a presiding elder's 
district, including only two circuits, called Attakapas 
and Washataw, in which there were one hundred and 
fifty-one white and fifty-eight colored members, under 
the charge of three preachers, including the presiding 
elder. How inadequate they were all to meet the spi- 
ritual wants of the people, may be inferred from the 
fact, that one of these preachers traveled not less than 
five hundred and eighty miles every five weeks, in or- 
der to preach to as many of the people in their scattered 
settlements as he possibly could. In this state of things 
the few whose hearts the Lord had touched sent up a 
loud and urgent call to the rulers of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and made their earnest appeals to 
the managers of our Missionary Society for ministerial 
help. After consulting with Bishop M'Kendree in 


reference to the best manner of answering these earnest 
appeals, the managers selected a young preacher of 
promising talents, Ebenezer Brown, who was approved 
of and appointed by Bishop George, and, with a view to 
qualify himself for his work, he entered upon the study 
of the French language. He went finally to his field 
of labor, but the enterprise proved a failure. Such 
were the prejudices of the French population, fomented 
as they were by priestly influence, that the missbnary 
could gain no access to the people ; and hence, after 
spending some time in preaching to an English con- 
gregation in New-Orleans, he returned to the New- 
York conference, in which he continued until he located. 

But though these efforts to send the gospel in that 
direction, like many others of a similar character which 
had been niade to benefit the Catholic population, were 
unsuccessful, the prospects in other places, particularly 
among the aborigines of our country, were more flatter- 
ing. These long neglected people, the original lords of 
the soil, began to attract the attention of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, and by one of those singular provi- 
dences which so strikingly indicate the wisdom and 
powder of God in selecting the means for the accom- 
plishment of his purposes of mercy, a work of grace had 
been commenced among the Wyandot Indians in Up- 
per Sandusky, in the state of Ohio. 

That the reader may duly estimate the difficulties 
with w^hich the missionaries had to contend, in their 
efforts to convert these savages to the Christian faith, 
it is necessary that he should know something of their 
superstitions, customs, and manner of living, as well 
as the great diversity of languages which are spoken by 
the several tribes. 


160 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

Within the bounds of the United States and territo- 
ries there were remaining, according (o the most accu- 
rate estimate wliich could be made of all the numerous 
tribes which once inhabited this land, only about one 
hundred and tliirty thousand; and there were supposed 
to be in the Canadas, chiefly of the Chippeway, Mo- 
hawk, and Missisauga tribes, about fifty thousand more. 
Such inroads had disease, wars, and intemperance 
made upon this once numerous and powerful people, 
the aboriginal lords of the soil, that these several tribes 
of Indians were but fragments of what they once were, 
scattered about in small insulated groups, some of them 
half civilized, and many melted down to mere handfuls 
in comparison to their former numbers. 

These one hundred and thirty thousand were divided 
into not less than sixty-five different tribes, speaking 
almost as many languages, some reduced to as few as 
thiity in a tribe, while the largest number did not ex- 
ceed thirty thousand in any one tribe. What a diffi- 
culty does this single circumstance present in the way 
of their conversion ! And how hopeless must their case 
have appeared to all who looked at them merely with 
the eye of human reason ! But the faith of the Chris- 
tian surveyed them with very different feelings, and 
prompted him to adopt measures for their melioration 
and salvation. 

Though each tribe may have some religious notions 
and customs, as well as modes of life, peculiar to itself, 
yet in the general outline of heathen superstitions and 
manner of savage life they all agree ; and hence a ge- 
neral description of these things may answer the purpose 
of conveying an accurate idea of their character and 
religious and social condition. 


Though most of them believe in one supremely 
good Spirit, whom they call Ke-sha-Muneto, yet 
as they think he is goodness itself, they conclude he 
can do no evil, and therefore they neither fear nor offer 
to him any propitiatory sacrifice. To the evil spirit, 
who is called Manche-Muneto, they offer sacrifices, 
as an object of fear and dread, that they may appease 
his wrath. 

In addition to these two great and powerful beings, 
they believe in the existence of a multitude of subordi- 
nate deities, who are distinguished by the simple name 
of Mujieto. These are, like the gods of the ancient 
heathen, local deities, who have their abodes in caves 
of the earth, in great waterfalls, in large and dangerous 
rivers and lakes, which, together with whatever natural 
phenomenon is calculated to inspire the mind with awe 
and dread, are under the control of these inferior and 
local deities. To the care of these subordinate gods the 
souls and bodies of individuals are committed, and it is 
a subject of much solicitude for each person to ascertain 
to which of the Munetos his destinies are to be con- 
signed, that he may render to it the proper homage. 
For the purpose of acquiring this knowledge they go 
through a most painful process of fasting and other bo- 
dily austerities for several days in succession, and when 
reduced by this means to great physical weakness, they 
become perturbed in sleep, and the thoughts which flit 
through their minds in that state are interpreted in 
such way as to lead them to infer that either a bear, a 
deer, a snake, or some other animal is to be the repre- 
sentative of their guardian Muneto ; and thenceforward 
the animal selected by the individual becomes the ob- 


162 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

ject of his superstitious reverence through all the vicis- 
situdes of his future roving hfe.* 

But they have also their priests, who hold a preter- 
natural intercourse with the invisible world, and inter- 
pret the will of the gods unto the people. These are 
called Paw-waws, or conjurors. These profess to 
hold a correspondence with invisible and absent spirits, 
whether dead or alive, and teach the deluded people to 
believe that they can inflict punishment upon their ene- 
mies, even though at a great distance from them — that 
they can, by their conjurations, cure diseases, expel 
witches and wizards, and control the power of evil spi- 
rits. These conjurors have their medicine-bags, with 
which they perform a variety of antic tricks, beating 
their tum-tum^ a sort of drum, and singing their mono- 
tonous tunes over the sick, attempting by this means to 
drive away the evil spirit and restore the patient to 
health ; but they more frequently increase the suffer- 
ings or hasten the dissolution of the diseased person 
than effect his cure. 

In addition to these ordinary priests there is another 
order of a pecuhar character, whose business is to guard 
the " Council Fire." This is kept by each tribe in a place 
selected for that purpose, where an altar, something in 
the form of a rude oven, is erected, and here the eternal 
fire, as it is called, is kept perpetually burning. That 
it may not be extinguished or desecrated by rude or 

* May we not perceive in this system of aboriginal theo- 
logy a semblance of the Scriptural account of a good and 
evil spirit, of holy and unholy angels? And have they not 
received it by tradition, obscured from one generation to 
another, until it has degenerated into these absurd notions of 
supreme and subordinate deities, who preside over their des- 


vulgar hands, four persons, two males and two females, 
husbands and their wives, are appointed as its gxiardi- 
ans. The wives are required to cook and do the do- 
mestic work, while their husbands, who are destined 
more especially to the sacred duty of guarding the 
council fire, are likewise engaged in hunting and pro- 
viding all needful things for the household. These four 
persons are relieved from all secular cares, that they 
may the more entirely devote themselves to the holy 
trust confided to them. In this priesthood a perpetual 
succession is kept up by the appointment of the head 
chief and his spouse, the former selecting the husband 
and the latter the wife of the survivor. And so sacred 
is the duty of guarding the eternal fire considered, that 
death is inflicted as a punishment upon him who vio- 
lates his trust.* 

The custom of ridding themselves of the encumbrance 
of the aged and infinn, by putting an end to their hfe, 
is continued among these heathen with all its shocking 
barbarities. The following, as corroborative of the truth 
of this, is related on the authority of the Rev. William 
Case, whose labors among the Indians of Upper Ca- 
nada, and intimate acquaintance with their customs, 
entitle him not only to credit, but also to the thanks of 
the whole Christian community. He says : — " Many 
years since an aged respectable gentleman, being at the 
head of the Bay of duinte, found an assemblage of In- 
dians. On inquiring the cause, he was informed that 
they had assembled to perform one of their ceremonies. 
Out of respect to our informant they permitted him to 

* Here is another relic of the high-priesthood among the 
Jews, and of the fire of the sacred altar. Has this been handed 
down by tradition from their fathers 7 


164 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

witness the scene. They were ranged in Indian file, 
at the head of which was an aged man, and next to 
him a lad, his son. with a hatchet in his hand. They 
all moved slowly until they arrived at a place nearly 
dry in the ground. Here they halted. The old man 
kneeled down. The son stood for a moment, and then 
deliberately stepjx^d up and struck the tomahawk into 
his father's head. He fell under the stroke, was buried, 
and the ceremony ended by drinking freely of ardent 
spirits." In justification of this inhuman conduct, they 
alleged that this was not a punishment for any crime, 
but merely because the old man could no longer follow 
them in their wanderings. So powerfully does the 
selfish principle predominate over filial love and obedi- 

But these superstitions are not the worst things with 
which the Christian missionary has to contend. Had 
these heathen been left in their native condition, theii' 
conversion to Christianity might be eflfected with much 
more ease. It is, indeed, lamentable to reflect, that their 
proximity to the white population, and their intermin- 
gling w^ith them for purposes of traflfic, instead of bet- 
tering their condition, have made it far worse, and fur- 
nished them with an argument against Christianity of 
peculiar point and force. I allude to the introduction of 
ardent spirits by mercenary traders, to the custom of pro- 
fane swearing, to gambling, and to those diseases to 
which they were heretofore strangers. These things have 
debased their minds, corrupted their morals, impoverished 
their tribes, thinned their ranks, and hardened them 
against the truths of the gospel. And this is the more 
to be lamented, because these evils have been superin- 
duced by those who have called themselves Christians, 


and professed to enjoy the advantages of civilization. In 
consequence of these things, the semi-civilized Indians, 
who skirt our settlenients, and liave interniingled with 
their white neighbors, are the worst, to whom the ap- 
pellation of " miserable, half-starved Indians" most 
appropriately belongs — those in the interior, far removed 
from civilized life, being much more industrious, better 
clad, enjoy better health, and are more easily reached 
by gospel truth. 

This state of things renders it imperative for the mis- 
sionary, on his first introduction to these semi-barbari- 
ans, to remove the objections to Christianity arising 
from the corrupting example of those professed Chris- 
tians who have cheated them, made them drunk with 
" fire waters," and turned the edge of the sword against 
them, until they have been compelled to seek a shelter 
from the hot pursuit of their enemies by plunging far- 
ther and farther into the trackless wilderness — by leav- 
ing their paternal inheritances, and taking up their 
abodes amidst bears and wolves, and other wild beasts 
of the forests. To do this — to meet and obviate their 
objections arising out of this inhuman treatment, by 
distinguishing between a cause and its professed advo- 
cates, between nominal and real Christians, and by 
discriminating between pure Christianity and that cor- 
rupted form of it which has been made to accommodate 
itself to the debased passions of men — to do this effectu- 
ally and satisfactorily to the inquisitive mind of an In- 
dian requires no little ingenuity and patient perseve- 
rance. And yet it must be done before an entrance 
can be gained to his heart by the truth. He must be 
convinced that the missionary is honest in his purpose, 
and then the latter must adapt himself, in his mode of 


166 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

instruction, to the condition, the intellect, and the moral 
liabits of his pupil. 

Such were the difficulties existing among the Indian 
tribes to whom the gospel was sent by the Missionary 
Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church about tliis 
lime ; and yet it met with a success unparalleled among 
Indian missions. 

The AVyandot Indians, among whom the reforma- 
tion commenced, called by the French Hiirons, were 
once a powerful nation, the most ancient settlers and 
proprietors of the country on both sides of the Detroit 
river, extending north-west as far as Mackinaw. By 
frequent wars, however, and the destructive influence 
of those vices contracted by their contiguity to the white 
population, they had now become greatly reduced in 
number and influence, and were at this time settled on 
a reservation of land in Upper Sandusky. 

This reservation w^as about nineteen miles in length 
from east to west, and twelve in breadth from north to 
south, containing in all nearly one hundred and fifty 
thousand acres of land. This tract, through which 
the Sandusky river winds its way, together with five 
miles square at the Big Spring, includes all the soil re- 
maining to this once numerous and powerful tribe, 
whose dominion had extended, in their more palmy 
days, over such a vast region of country. Their chief 
settlement, where the mission was commenced, and the 
mission premises have been established, is about four 
hundred and seventy miles north of Columbus, the 
capital of the state of Ohio. 

As early as the year 1816, John Steward^ a free 
man of color, born and raised in Powhatan county, in 
the state of Virginia, visited these people in the character 


of a Christian teacher. Having been brought to the 
*^ knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus," and become 
a member of our Church, it was deeply impressed upon 
his mind that it was his duty to travel somewhere north* 
west in search of some of the " lost sheep of the house 
of Israel."' So strong were his convictions on this sub- 
ject that he could have no rest in his spirit until he 
yielded obedience to what he considered the call of God. 
Unauthorized by any church, and in opposition to the 
advice of many of his friends. Steward took his depart- 
ure from his " home and kindred," and continued his 
course until he arrived at Pipe Town, on the Sandusky 
river, where a tribe of the Delaware Indians dwelt. 
After holding a conference with these friendly Indians, 
and. through an interpreter, delivering to them a dis- 
course on the subject of religion, impelled on by his first 
impressions, the next morning he bade them an affec- 
tionate adieu, and pursued his journey tow^ard Upper 
Sandusky, and soon arrived at the house of Mr. Walker, 
United States sub-agent, to whom Steward related his 
Christian experience, and the reasons which had in- 
duced him to come among them. Being finally satis- 
fied that he was actuated by pure motives, Mr. and Mrs. 
Walker, both of whom could speak the Wyandot lan- 
guage, encouraged and assisted him much in his work. 
His first sermon w^as delivered to one old Indian wo- 
man. But recollecting that his Lord and Master had 
preached successfully to the woman of Samaria alone. 
Steward preached as faithfully to her as if there had 
been hundreds present. At his next appointment, "on 
the morrow," he had the satisfaction to find added to 
his congregation an old man. To these he addressed 


168 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

himself with such effect that they both were soon con- 
verted to the Christian faith. 

In this small way, and by these comparatively inef- 
ficient means, the work of reformation began among 
these people in the month of November, 1816, and by 
the faithful labors of Steward, assisted occasionally by 
some local preachers, who took an interest in their spi- 
ritual welfare, before any regular missionary was ap- 
pointed to take charge of them, a large society of con- 
verted natives had been formed, all zealous for the 
salvation of their heathen brethren. Among tliese 
were several influential chiefs of the nation, Between- 
the-logs, Mononcue, Hicks, and >Scuteashj together 
with two of the interpretei-s, Pointer and Armstrong ; 
the first of whom, Between-the-logs, was one of the 
chief counsellors of the nation, a man of vigorous in- 
tellect, w^ho soon became an eloquent advocate for the 
Christian cause ; nor w^as Mononcue much inferior to 
him in mental strength and useful labors. 

In 1819, the very year in which the Missionary So- 
ciety was formed — a coincidence not unw^orthy of notice 
— this mission was taken under the superintendence of 
the Ohio conference, w^hich held its session that year in 
Cincinnati, August the 7th, and the Rev. James B. 
Finley, who was appointed to the Lebanon district, 
took the Wyandot mission under his care. At a quar- 
terly meeting, held in November of this year, on Mad 
river circuit, forty-two miles from Upper Sandusky, 
about sixty of these native converts were present, among 
whom were the four chiefs above mentioned and the 
two interpreters. And that the reader may judge for 
himself in respect to the genuineness of the work which 
had been wrought in the hearts and lives of these peo- 


pie, I will insert the following account of the manner in 
which some of them related their Christian experience. 
Between-the-logs arose first in the love-feast, and hfting 
his eyes to heaven, streaming with tears of penitence 
and gratitude, said — 

" ' My dear brethren, I am happy this morning that the 
Great Spirit has permitted us to assemble here for so good 
a purpose as to worship him, and to strengthen the cords 
of love and friendship. This is the first meeting of the 
kind which has been held for us, and now, my dear bre- 
thren, I am happy that we, who have been so long time 
apart, and enemies to one another, are come together as 
brothers, at which our Great Father is well pleased. For 
my part, I have been a very wicked man, and have com- 
mitted many great sins against the Good Spirit, was ad- 
dicted to drinking whisky and many evils : but I thank my 
good God that I am yet alive, and that he has most per- 
fectly opened my eyes by his ministers and the good book 
to see these evils, and has given me help to forsake them 
and turn away from them. Now I feel peace in my heart 
with God and all men ; but I feel just like a little child be- 
ginning to walk ; sometimes very weak, and almost ready 
to give up ; then I pray, and my Great Father hears me, 
and gives me the blessing ; then I feel strong and happy ; 
then I walk again ; so sometimes up and sometimes down. 
I want you all to pray for me, that I may never sin any 
more, but always live happy and die happy. Then I shall 
meet you all in our Great Father's house above, and be 
happy for ever.' Tills speech was attended with great 
power to the hearts of the people. 

" The next who arose was Hicks, who had become a 
most temperate and zealous advocate for the Christian re- 
ligion. His speech was not interpreted entire ; but after 
expressing his gratitude to God for what he then felt, and 
Vol. III.-8 

170 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

hoped to enjoy, he exhorted his Indian brethren to be much 
engaged for a blessing, and enforced his exhortation in 
the following manner : — * When I was a boy, my parents 
used to send me on errands, and sometimes I saw so many 
new things to attract my attention, I would say, By and 
by I will ask, until I would forget what I was sent for, and 
have to go home without it. So it may be with you. You 
have come here to get a blessing, but if you do not ask for 
it you will have to go home without it, and the wicked In- 
dians will laugh at you for coming so far for nothing. Now 
seek, now ask, and if you get the blessing you will be 
happy, and go home light, and then be strong to resist evil 
and to do good.' He concluded by imploring a blessing 
upon his brethren. 

" Scuteash next arose, and, with a smiling and serene 
countenance, said, ' I have been a great sinner, and such 
a drunkard as made me commit many great sins, and the 
Great Spirit was very mad with me, so that in here' — 
pointing to his breast — ' always sick — no sleep — no eat — 
walk — walk — drink whisky. Then I pray to the Great 
Spirit to help me to quit getting drunk, and to forgive me 
all my sins ; and God did do something for me — I do not 
know from whence it comes nor where it goes, but it came 
all over me' — Here he cried out, ' Waugh ! Waugh !' as if 
shocked with electricity — ' Now me no more sick. Me 
sleep, eat, and no more get drunk — no more drink whisky 
— no more bad man. Me cry — me meet you all in our 
Great Father's house, and be happy for ever.' 

" At the conclusion of the love-feast there were not less 
than three hundred white people assembled from the neigh- 
boring frontier settlements, to whom Mr. Finley preached 
with great effect. The manifest attention in the appear- 
ance and general deportment of the Indian converts, toge- 
ther with the preaching, had a most salutary effect upon 
the audience. 


" The next evening, at the earnest request of the natives, 
the meeting was resumed. After an exhortation from Mr. 
Finley, Mononcue arose and exhorted his brethren to look 
for the blessing they sought now. He then addressed the 
white brethren as follows : — 

" ' Fathers and brethren, I am happy this night before 
the Great Spirit that made all men, both red, white, and 
black, that he has favored us with good weather for our 
meeting, and brought us together that we may help one 
another to get good and do good. The Great Spirit has 
taught you and us both in one thing, that we should love 
one another, and fear and obey him. Us Indians he has 
taught by his Spirit ; and you, white men, he has taught 
by your good book, w^hich is all one. But your book 
teaches you, and us by you, more plainly than we were 
taught before, what is for our good. To be sure we served 
our Great Father sincerely, (before we were told by the 
good book the way,) by our feasts, rattles, and sacrifices, 
and dances, which we now see were not all right. Now 
some of our nation are trying to do better ; but we have 
many hinderances, some of which I mean to tell. The 
white men tell us they love us, and we believe some do, 
and wish us well ; but a great many do not, for they will 
bring us whisky, which has been the ruin of our people. 
I can compare whisky to nothing but the devil ; for it 
brings with it all kinds of evil — it destroys our happiness ; 
it makes Indians poor ; strips our squaws and children of 
their clothes and food ; makes us lie, steal, and kill one 
another. All these and many other evils it brings among 
us ; therefore you ought not to bring it among us. Now 
you white people make it, you know its strength and use, 
Indians do not. Now this whisky is a curse to yourselves 
— why not quit making it ? This is one argument used by 
wicked Indians against the good book ; if it is so good, 
why do not white men all do good ? Another hinderance 

172 A HISTORY OF TJIE [1820. 

is, white men cheat Indians, take away their money and 
skins for nothing. Now you tell us your good book for- 
bids all this ; why not then do what it tells you ? then In- 
dians do right too. Again, you say our Great Father loves 
all men, white, black, and red men, that do right ; then 
why do you look at Indians as below you, and treat them 
as if they were not brothers ? Does your good book tell 
you so ? I am sure it does not. Now, brothers, let us all 
do right ; then our Great Father will be pleased, and will 
make us happy in this world, and when we die then we 
shall all live together in his house above, and always be 
happy.' " 

At the Ohio conference, which was held this year, 
1820, in Chillicothe, the chiefs of the Wyandots pre- 
sented a petition to the conference for a regular mis- 
sionary to be appointed over them. It will doubtless be 
both pleasing and edifying to the reader to know the 
orderly method by which the whole affair of preparing 
and presenting this petition was conducted, as it will 
show that these people were governed by the principles 
of democracy in coming to a final determination of any 
important question, while the executive authority was 
confided to their chief jnen. The following is Mr. 
Finley's account of this transaction : — 

" Sunday, 16th July, in the Wyandot council house, 
Upper Sandusky, at the close of public worship, was my 
last address to the Wyandots by the interpreter. ' My 
friends, and you chiefs and speakers in particular, I have 
one word more to say ; I expect to meet our good old 
chiefs and fathers in the church at Chillicothe before I 
come to see you again, and they will ask me how you 
come on in serving the Lord, and if you want them to keep 
sending you preachers any longer, to tell you the good 


word, or if you have any choice in preachers to come and 
teach you.' 

" The answer. — ' Our chiefs are not all here, and we 
must have all our chiefs and queens together, and they 
must all speak their minds, and then we will let the old 
father know.' 

" They appointed to meet me at Negro town on Wednes- 
day evening, on my return from Seneca town ; and, hav- 
ing returned, found them assembled and prepared to an- 
swer. On entering in among them a seat was set in the 
midst of the room, and I requested to take the seat, which 
I declined ; but took my seat in their circle against the 
wall, and directed the interpreter to take the middle seat, 
which was done. After a short silence I spoke. ' Dear 
friends and brothers, I am thankful to find you all here, 
and am now prepared to hear your answer.' 

" Mononcue, chairman and speaker for them all, an- 
swered : — 

" ' We let our old father know that we have put the 
question round which was proposed on Sunday evening in 
the council house, and our queens give their answer first, 

" * We thank the old father for coming to see us so often, 
and speaking the good word to us, and we want him to 
keep coming and never forsake us ; and we let him know 
that we love this religion too well to give it up while we 
live, for we think it will go bad with our people if they 
quit this religion ; and we want our good brother Steward 
to stay always among us, and our brother Jonathan too, 
and to help us along as they have done. Next we let the 
old father know what our head chiefs and the others have 
to say. They are willing that the gospel word should be 
continued among them, and they will try to do good them- 
selves and help others to do so too ; but as for the other 
things that are mentioned, they say, We give it all over to 

174 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

our speakers ; just what they say we agree to ; they know 
better about these things than we do, and they may let the 
old father know their mind.' 

" The speakers reply for themselves : — 

" * We thank the fathers in conference for sending us 
preachers to help our brother Steward, and we desire the 
old father to keep coming at least another year when his 
year is out ; and we want our brother Armstrong to come 
as often as he can, and our brothers Steward and Jona- 
than to stay among us and help us as they have done ; 
and we hope our good fathers will not give us up because 
so many of our people are wicked and do wrong, for we 
believe some white men are wicked yet, that had the good 
word preached to them longer than our people ; and our 
great heavenly Father has had long patience with us all ; 
and we let the old father know that we, the speakers, will 
not give over speaking and telling our people to live in 
the right way ; and if any of us do wrong we will still try 
to help him right, and let none go wrong ; and we will try 
to make our head chiefs and all our people better, and we 
are one in voice with our queens, and we all join in giving 
thanks to our good fathers that care for our souls, and are 
willing to help our people ; and we want them all to pray 
for us, and we will pray for them, and we hope our great 
heavenly Father will bless us all, and this is the last,' " 

Their request was granted, and Moses Hinkle, senior, 
was appointed a missionary to Upper Sandusky. Being 
aided and encouraged by so many influential chiefs, 
and others of the tribe who had embraced the Christian 
faith, the missionary entered upon his woi"k with a fair 
prospect of success ; nor was he disaj^inted in his ex- 
pectations, though it required much labor and skill to 
bring them into gospel order, according to our discipli- 
nary regulations. 


While these prospects were looming up before us in 
this and some other places, the Church in the city of 
New- York was convulsed by an eruption which had 
been secretly working, and sometimes venting itself in 
low murmurings and disputings, for a considerable time 
before it broke forth in the manner now to be described. 
It would doubtless be tedious, and probably uninterest- 
ing to the reader, for me to enter into a minute detail 
of all the circumstances which led finally to a secession 
of a travehng preacher and upward of three hundred 
memliers, including three trustees and quite a number 
of class-leaders. 

In contests of this character there is generally more 
or less of blame on both sides in respect to the manner 
in which the controversy is conducted, while only one 
can be right in regard to the main principle contended 
for, or as it respects the measures and things to be sus- 
tained or sacrificed. And that in the discussions which 
arose on the present occasion there were hasty expres- 
sions and precipitate measures on the one side as well 
as the other, I have good reason to know, while I am 
equally well convinced that the seceders themselves had 
no just cause for their complaints, and the means which 
they employed to accomplish their ends. 

The origin of the difficulty may be traced to the re- 
building of John-street church, in the year 1817, 
although long prior to this there had appeared a jealousy 
between the up-town and down-town people, and more 
particularly between the east and west portions of the 
city. But the manner in which this church was re- 
edified, being a httle more neat and costly than the 
other churches in the city, furnished a plausible oppor- 
tunity, for those who seemed to want one, to censure 


176 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

the conduct of the trustees and those preachers who fa- 
vored their plan of building, and thus the spirit of 
discontent among the members of the Church was much 
increased. Unhappily for the peace of the Church, the 
malecontents were strengthened in their opposition at 
the first by at least one preacher, who made no se- 
cret of his dissatisfaction at the measures which had 
been pursued in relation to the John-street church, and 
other matters connected with the administration of dis- 

These things continued to distract the councils of the 
Church, and to disturb its peace and harmony more 
and more, until the session of the New- York conference 
in 1820, when the conference adopted measures to re- 
move, if possible, the source of the difficulties, by advis- 
ing our people to petition the state legislature for such 
an act of incorporation as should " recognize the pe- 
culiarities of our form of church government," and 
thereby protect the administrators of discipline in their 
ecclesiastical rights and privileges. Though the con- 
ference meant nothing more than the removal of legal 
barriers, which they then thought existed, out of the 
way, yet the dissatisfied party seized hold of this cir- 
cumstance with peculiar avidity, and made it subserve 
their purposes by raising the cry of "legal establish- 
ment," an " attempt to coerce the people by civil laws," 
&c., (fee. Though all this was but idle gossip, yet it 
had its effect in raising a prejudice in the minds of 
many sincere members of our Church, and induced 
them to believe that their preachers were adopting mea- 
sures to enslave them, or to deprive them of their just 
rights and privileges. 

It is believed that the measures of the conference, 


though well meant, were unnecessary, even for the 
attainment of the end proposed, as subsequent experi- 
ence has proved that the constitutions, both of the 
general and state governments, amply secure to all de- 
nominations the full enjoyment of all their peculiarities, 
and the free and unrestrained exercise of their discipli- 
nary regulations, provided they behave as peaceable 
citizens, and do not infract any law of the land. This 
principle has been settled by the highest tribunals of 
justice, and therefore no special act is necessary to re- 
move any legal barrier out of the way of the exercise 
of discipline, provided as above, because all such bar- 
riers, did they exist, are unconstitutional, and are 
therefore null and void. 

But this act of the New- York conference, perfectly 
innocent in itself, and which was never carried into 
effect, furnished a plausible pretext to the discontented 
party, and was used with adnurable effect in raising a 
prejudice against the constituted authorities of the 
Church. It finally ended, as before remarked, in the 
secession of a preacher, William M. Stillwell^ and 
about three hundred members of the Church, some of 
whom were men of long standing and considerable in- 
fluence. They formed themselves into an independent 
congregation, adopting the substance of our general 
rules for their government, and our doctrines as articles 
of faith, professing at the same time an attachment to 
the itinerating mode of spreading the gospel, and, draw- 
ing others after them iu some portions of the country, 
formed an annual conference, made up chiefly — for I 
believe no traveling preacher joined them except Still- 
well — of local preachers, and those who had been 
exhorters in our Church. Their itinerancy, however, 

8* 3 

178 A HISTORV OF THE [1820. 

was of short duration, for those who seceded in the city 

of New- York soon settled down upon the Congrega- 
tional plan of church government, allowing even the 
females a voice in all matters of administration. 

As it will not be necessary to advert to these things 
again, except incidentally, it is proper to remark here, 
that most of those who left us at that time have since 
returned to the church of their first love. Having suf- 
ficiently tested the quality of the " new wine'' to find it 
unsavory, and becoming restiflf under their new regi- 
men, they made application to l)e restored to the privi- 
lege of drinking again the "old wine,"' and to the 
government from which they had expatriated them- 
selves. Some afterward joined the "Reformer," im- 
properly so called, and a few only of those who seceded 
remain attached to Still well. Two out of the three 
tiiistees who left us, most of the class-leaders, together 
with their members, have been, at their own request, 
restored to their former fellowship, in a way equally 
satisfactory to all concerned. Mr. Stillwell, however, 
remains over a congregation, made up chiefly of those 
who have been gathered in since the secession, and, so 
far as they may promote "the common salvation," we 
wish them success. 

Notwithstanding these difficulties occurred in the city 
of New-York and a few other places which were af- 
fected by these movements, by which many a sincere 
heart was made to palpitate with sorrow, and some of 
our ministers to suffer a temporary reproach, the work 
of God was generally prosperous, and great peace 
reigned among those who remained unmoved in the 
city of New- York. 

It was no small satisfaction to the projectors and 


friends of our Missionary Society to find that their la- 
bors were duly appreciated by their brethren, and that 
the spirit of missions was gradually diffusing itself 
throughout our ranks, exerting in its course a hallow- 
ing influence in the Church, and calling forth a spirit 
of liberaHty highly creditable to all concerned. Many 
of the annual conferences formed themselves into aux- 
iliary societies, and adopted energetic measures to esta- 
blish branches throughout their bounds, with a view to 
supply the pecuniary means needful to support those 
men of God who volunteered their services for the sal- 
vation of men. Numerous testimonies in favor of these 
measures, sent to the managers to cheer them on the 
way, might easily be adduced ; but I shall content my- 
self with inserting the following from the Rev. Thomas 
L. Douglass, of the Tennessee conference : — 

" The plan," he remarks, " proposed in the Address of 
the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
places things on very advantageous ground. The men to be 
aided and sanctioned as missionaries are to be approved by 
our annual conferences, and to act under the direction of 
our bishops. Men who, renouncing ease and worldly 
prospects, devoted to God and his Church, and qualified 
for the divine work in which they are engaged, will spread 
the word of life ; and by uniting precept with example 
they will plant the standard of Immanuel, and difiuse light 
to thousands in regions where darkness now reigns. O! 
could our venerable father. Bishop Asbury, the apostle of 
America, have witnessed such a plan matured and carried 
into operation by his sons in the gospel, his great soul 
must have felt such rapture, that, like Simeon, he would 
have exclaimed. Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart 
in peace! Admirable system! The strength of Jehovah 

180 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

must be felt by the powers of darkness in the operation of 
such a plan. 

" I think the publication of the Methodist Magazine and 
the establishment of the Missionary Society, both ingrafted 
on the old itinerant missionary plan, are calculated to im- 
part such energy and spirit to the whole connection, that 
we shall not only keep up the life and power of religion 
where it is already planted, but renewed exertion and un- 
equalled success, since the apostolic age, in saving souls 
from death, will be the resulting consequences. 

" Nashville is certainly the most central as well as the 
most populous town within the limits of this conference, 
and therefore ought to be the place for the location of an 
auxiliary society, which I shall use my endeavors to 
establish as soon as possible." 

Events have verified the truth of these anticipations 
respecting the blessed results of this society. An en- 
lightened zeal distinguished the conduct of those who 
entered the most heartily into the missionary work, and 
the spirit of revival pervaded many portions of the 
Church during this and succeeding years. An auxi- 
liary missionary society had been formed in Lynn, 
Mass., and the Rev. J. A. Merrill, who was appointed 
by the bishop as a missionary in the bounds of the 
New-England conference, went to the upper Coos, 
along the upper waters of the Connecticut river, a tract 
of country almost entirely destitute of the gospel. God 
accompanied his labors with the energies of the Holy 
Spirit, so that many sinners were awakened and 
brought to the knowledsre of the truth. He extended his 
labors into Vermont, some parts of New-Hampshire, 
and Maine, and everywhere found a people eager to 
hear the word. The following extract from one of his 
letters will show the extent and effect of his labors : — 


" Since my last communication I have made two visits 
into the upper Coos country, and am happy to state that 
the prospect still brightens. In Lunenburgh there is a 
gracious work of religion. I have attended a number of 
meetings in that place, and the power of God was evi- 
dently manifested among the people. The tears and sighs 
of mourners clearly discovered that the word was not de- 
livered in vain. At one time nearly the whole assembly 
rose and requested prayers, and after the congregation was 
dismissed a number of mourning and weeping souls tar- 
ried, and still desired we should pray for them. They 
readily prostrated themselves at the foot of the cross, 
while our prayers were offered to God in their behalf. 
Several have professed faith in the Lord Jesus, and others 
are still struggling for deliverance. 

" There is a good work in the Congregational society 
in this town. At a meeting not long since, the preacher, 
after giving an invitation to the people to rise to be prayed 
for, and counting forty, urged the importance of their 
kneeling, from the example of Christ and the apostles ; 
he then kneeled, and was joined in this Scriptural and 
rational act by nearly all the congregation. 

" About one hundred have been added to the societies 
on Stratford circuit since the last conference, and perhaps 
more than that number on LandafF circuit. 

" I have made a tour of about five weeks into Maine ; 
preached in the towns of Shelbourn, Rumford, Bethel, 
Livermore, Augusta, Sidney, Gardner, Litchfield, and Vi- 
enna. In some of these towns I preached four and five 
times, and have reason to think the labor will not be lost. 
The prospect in several towns is good ; — in Vienna about 
sixty have experienced religion of late, and the attention 
in most of these places is considerable. 

" You observe in your letter that several wished to 
know how many miles I have traveled and how many scr- 


182 A HISTORY OF THE [1820. 

mons I have preached since my appointment. I am not 
much in favor of this practice, generally ; but as it is the 
wish of my friends, and has been a practice among mis- 
eionaries, I shall here state, for the satisfaction of the 
society, that I have visited and preached in seventy towns, 
traveled three thousand six hundred and seventy miles, 
(in about eight months,) and preached two hundred and 
forty sermons ; but how many families I have visited I 
cannot tell." 

In the town of Bristol, R. I., there was a gracious 
work of God. The following particulars respecting the 
commencement and progress of Methodism in this 
place will doubtless be interesting to the reader. About 
the year 1791 a sea captain, a citizen of Bristol, was 
brought to the saving knowledge of the truth under 
Methodist preaching in the city of New-York. On his 
return to his native place he made known to some of 
his neighbors what God had done for his soul. Though 
many who heard these things treated them with con- 
tempt, others believed his testimony and received it 
with joy. Being encouraged by these, the captain, 
whose heart burned with love to the souls of his fellow- 
men, invited the Methodist preachers to visit Bristol ; 
and though much opposition was manifested by some, 
yet others received the word with joyful and believing 
hearts, and a society was soon formed, consisting of 
eighteen persons. This was the beginning of Method- 
ism in that place, and the society gradually increased 
in numbers and strength, so that in 1805 they were 
enabled to build a commodious house of worship. In 
1812, under a powerful revival of religion, about one 
hundred were added to their number. This year, 1820, 
they were favored with another outpouring of the Spirit, 


during which not less than one hundred and fifty gave 
evidence of a work of regenerating grace^ so that the 
whole number of Church members was four hundred 
and eight, including twenty-two colored. 

In Provincetown, Massachusetts, also, there was a 
remarkable work of God ; — so powerful was it in its ef- 
fects, and 90 rapid in its progress, that it changed the 
entire moral aspect of the place. As this work began 
while many of the men were absent at sea — the inha- 
bitants living chiefly by fishing — on their return they 
were astonished at the change which had taken place ; 
but they soon became convinced that it was the power 
of God which had produced the reformation, and they 
also were soon made '• partakers of like precious faith," 
whole families rejoicing together " for the consolation." 
About one hundred and forty in this little town were 
brought to God during this revival. 

Chillicothe, Ohio, was also favored with manifest dis- 
plays of the power and grace of God. In 1819 there 
had been a revival here which eventuated in the addi- 
tion of three hundred and twenty to the Church. This 
year the work continued w^ith increasing power, and, 
among others, the man who had been employed in 
finishing their house of worship, together with all his 
family, and all the hands employed on the house, Avere 
made partakers of the grace of life. 

Many other places, too numerous to mention, were 
blessed with revivals, so that it may be said the Church 
very generally was in a prosperous condition. 

Thirty-five preachers were located this year, fifteen 
were retuined supernumerary, and forty-two superan- 
nuated, and three had been expelled. Two, John T*. 
Brame and George Burnet^ had died in the Lord. 

184 A HISTORY OF THE [1821. 

Number of Church ineinhers. 

Whites. Colore J. Total. Preachers. 

This year 219,332 40,558 259,890* 896 
Last year 201,750 39,174 240,924 812 

Increase 17,582 1,384 18,966 84 

1821. The mission wliich had been commenced 
among the Wyandots continued to prosper, and the 
reports of its success had a most happy influence on the 
cause of religion generally. This year the Rev. James 
B. Finley was appointed to tlie superintendence of this 
mission. In addition to preaching the gospel to the 
adult Indians, he was instructed to establish a school 
for the education of the children, both in letters and in 
domestic economy — to teach the boys the art of agri- 
culture, and the girls to sew, spin, and knit, and all the 
duties of the household. 

It is a coincidence worthy of notice, that about the 
time this good work commenced among the natives of 
our forests, the government of the United States made 
an appropriation of ten thousand dollars annually for 
the support of native schools, in which it was ordered 
that the children should be taught the arts of civilized 
life, as w^ell as to read, write, and keep accounts. This 
annuity w^as to be divided among the several schools 
which might be established among the aboriginal tribes 
by missionary societies, and the Wyandot school re- 
ceived its quota. To accomplish his object Mr. Finley 
commenced building a house, which might serve the 
double purpose of a house of worship and for teaching 
the children, and likewise inclosed a large farm, the 

* There is an error in the total number in the printed 
Minutes of 385, the whole number there stated being 2iB0,275. 


land having been granted by the chiefs to the mission, 
on which he labored with his own hands, for the pur- 
pose of setting an example to the Indians, that they 
might habituate themselves to an agricultural Hfe. 
These movements had a salutary effect upon their 
physical and moral condition. 

The converted natives were formed into classes, and 
the chiefs who embraced Christianity were appointed 
leaders. At the first offer that was made to receive 
them into class twenty-three came forward, with tears 
of mingled sorrow and joy, desiring to become members 
of the Christian church, while others stood trembling 
and weeping, crying aloud, " O, Shasus, Ta-men-tare !" 
that is, " O, Jesus, take pity on us !" In this way the 
good work went on during the year. 

With a view to send the gospel to the Creek Indians, 
who inhabited a tract of country lying within the 
bounds of the states of Georgia and Alabama, then 
under the chieftainship of M'Intosh, the celebrated half- 
breed warrior, the Rev. William Capers undertook a 
tour through the state of Georgia, to ascertain the feel- 
ings of its citizens toward an attempt to establish a 
mission among that tribe of Indians. He was favora- 
bly received by the people generally, and the proposed 
mission was viewed w'ith a friendly eye. He visited 
and preached in the most populous towns and villages 
in the state, and made collections for the support of the 
contemplated mission, which was begun the succeeding 

The feelings of the managers of the Missionary So- 
ciety, in view of what God had already done through 
their instrumentality, may be seen by the following 
extract from their third annual report : — 


186 A HISTORY OF THE [1821 

" It is now only about three years since this society 
commenced its operations. Combining so large a field of 
labor, and comprehending in its plans so large a circle, as 
the whole of the Methodist conferences in the United 
States, it was but reasonable to expect that its progress 
would be slow; but it has been sure. Time and patient 
perseverance are necessary to set so many wheels in mo- 
tion, to communicate life and vigor to each, and so to 
direct the movements of the whole as to produce a simul- 
taneous and harmonious co-operation. But, blessed be the 
God of missions ! the God of Wesley and Whitefield — 
those eminent missionaries of the old world — who inspired 
them with sufficient energy to set the mighty machine in 
motion — of Asbury and Coke, who gave it such an impulse 
in the new world — blessed be his holy name for ever, that 
he hath so far given success to the experiment. Already 
the impulse is felt more or less strongly from the centre to 
the circumference of our connection. The mustard-seed 
first sown about three years since has taken deep root, has 
extended its branches, and many are reposing under their 
shadow. Young branches are shooting forth in various 
directions, and, instead of exhausting the strength of the 
parent stock, are daily adding to its growth and stability. 
As you have already heard, the heathen tribes of our 
wilderness are partaking of its fruits. 

" The time, indeed, is not far distant, when every man 
who shall have engaged in this godlike enterprise will 
esteem it as the happiest period of his existence, the high- 
est honor ever conferred upon him, when he embarked in 
the cause of missions. The loiterers, those who have 
•looked on with cold indifference, and with envious eye 
have waited the doubtful result, will stand abashed, filled 
with confusion at their own supineness ; and will, if their 
zeal for God be not quite extinguished, petition the privi- 
lege to redeem their lost time, by being permitted, at last, 


to participate in the grand work of conquering the world 
by the power of truth." 

The work of God was generally prosperous through- 
out the bounds of the several annual conferences, not- 
withstanding a spirit of disaffection was manifesting 
itself in some places among a few restless spirits. 
Through the agency of camp meetings in some parts 
of South Carolina much good was done, and a new cir- 
cuit which was formed in the neighborhood of Bush 
river was blessed with an encouraging revival, under 
the labors of R. L. Edwards. An effort was also made 
to carry the gospel into a new field in the south-west, in 
what was called Jackson's Purchase, which embraced 
portions of the states of Kentucky and Tennessee, and 
Lewis Garrett and Hezekiah Holland were appointed 
to this service. That they were successful in their la- 
bors is evident from the fact, that there were returned 
on the Minutes for 1822 one hundred and forty-two whites 
and thirteen colored. 

In the Nashville district also, through the agency of 
camp meetings, there were extensive revivals of religion 
throughout nearly all the circuits within the district, so 
much so that the nett increase, after deducting expul- 
sions, deaths, and removals, was one thousand three 
hundred and five members. The writer of this ac- 
count, the Rev. Thomas L. Douglass, thus concludes 
his remarks : — 

" The character of this reirival is the least mixed with 
what are called irregularities or extravagances of any that 
I ever saw. We have had nothing of what is called the 
jerks y or dance, among us. The work- of conviction in the 
hearts of sinners has been regular, powerful, and deep ; 
their conversion, or deliverance from sin and guilt, clear 


188 A HISTORY OF THE [1821. 

and bright ; and their rejoicings Scriptural and rational. 
I think fully half of those who have been the subjects of 
the work are young men, and heads of families ; many of 
them among the most respectable in the country, men 
of education, men of talents. We anticipate help and use- 
fulness from some of them in the Lord's vineyard. Upon 
the whole, it is the greatest work, the most blessed revi- 
val, I ever saw. The whole country, in some places, 
seems like bowing to our Immanuel ; religion meets with 
very little that can be called opposition ; and many who 
neither profess nor appear to have any desire to get reli- 
gion themselves, manifest an uncommon degree of solici- 
tude that others should obtain it, and express a high 
satisfaction at seeing the work prosper. May the Lord 
continue to pour out his Spirit, and may the hallowed fire 
spread, until all the inhabitants of the earth shall rejoice 
in his salvation ! To God be all the glory ! Pray for us, 
dear brethren, that this year may be as the past, and much 
more abundantly. We look for it and expect it. The dis- 
trict is well supplied with preachers, men of talents, men 
of zeal, and in the spirit of the work. May the Lord 
bless their labors !" 

In Carter's Valley circuit, Holston conference, there 
were added, during a revival that year, not less than 
three hundred to the Church. 

In Pittsburgh, Pa., the work of reformation had been 
going forward without interruption for about eighteen 
months, during which time not less than fiv^e hundred 
had been added to the Church, of whom about two 
hundred and sixty had been received in the course of 
six months. The writer of this account of the work 
of God in Pittsburgh, the Rev. Samuel Davis, who was 
at that time stationed there, closes his naiTative in the 
following words : — 


" To those who have been conversant with the history 
of Methodism in this place from its rise, and who, with 
lively interest, have marked its progress down to the pre- 
sent, the retrospect must afford matter for the liveliest 
feelings of gratitude to God. Yea, when they look back 
but a few years, and compare what they then were with 
what they are now, their souls, in pleasing astonishment, 
must cry out, ' What hath the Lord wrought !' When they 
consider that, about ten or twelve years ago, an apartment 
in a private house was sufficient to contain the society, 
and all who chose to assemble with them to hear the word 
preached ; and that now that little society has swelled to 
a church of near seven hundred members, possessing two 
meeting-houses, (one of which is large,) which are well 
filled, on sabbath evenings especially, with serious and 
attentive hearers — a review of these circumstances con- 
strains them to acknowledge that it is indeed ' the Lord's 
doings, and marvelous in their eyes,' — ' that they who 
were not a people should become the people of the Lord.' 
' The Lord reigneth ! Let the earth rejoice.' " 

In some portions of North Carolina the camp meet- 
ings were rendered a great blessing to the people. In 
the town of Hillsborough, where the Methodists had 
been but little known, having only two Church mem- 
bers in the place, there was a society of forty raised up 
as the fruit of one of these meetings, and they immedi- 
ately adopted measures for erecting a house of worship, 
much to the gratification of the people of Hillsborough. 
Other places shared largely in the blessed effects of 
these revivals, and upward of three hundred were added 
to the several societies in that region of country, besides 
a number who connected themselves with other deno- 

In the more northern conferences also the work of 


190 A HISTORY OF THE [1821. 

God was prosperous. In the New-Hampshire district, 
in New- Haven, Conn., Providence, R. I., New-London 
district, Well fleet. New- Windsor, and Rhineheck circuits, 
the Lord poured out his Spirit, and blessed the lalxjr of 
his servants in the conversion of many sinners and the 
sanctification of believers. 

In 1819 Alabama was admitted as a state into the 
American confederacy. It had been filling- up, like the 
other territories in the west and south-west, with inha- 
bitants from Europe and the older states in the Union, 
most of whom were destitute of the ordinances of Chris- 
tianity. Into this country the Methodist itinerants had 
penetrated, and succeeded in forming circuits and esta- 
blishing societies among the scattered population. This 
year, as the following account will show, there were 
encouraging revivals of religion in many places in that 
part of the country. The presiding elder, the Rev. 
Thomas Griffin, writes as follows : — 

" At a camp meeting held on the 6tli of July last, on 
Pearl river, a few miles from Monticello, the congregation 
was large and attentive, many were awakened to a sense 
of their need of Christ, and five or six gave evidence of a 
change of heart. 

" On the 20tli we held another meeting on the river 
Chickasawhay, about fifty miles from the town of Mobile, 
where we have a large, flourishing society. There were 
two traveling and four local preachers, and one Presbyte- 
rian minister at this meeting. On Friday and Saturday 
the Lord favored us with a solemn sense of his presence. 
Sinners were struck with awe, and stood with respectful 
silence, while believers rejoiced in God their Saviour. On 
sabbath we administered the Lord's supper. All were 
solemn as night. The word of God was heard with great 


attention, and I believe much good was done. About ten 
professed justifying grace. 

" On the 27th of July we held another meeting, about 
thirty miles from St. Stephen's, near the Tombeckbee and 
Alabama rivers. Though the principal part of the people 
were irreligious, yet they behaved with great order and 
decorum, and five or six professed to be converted. 

" On the 2d of August we commenced a camp meeting 
on the banks of the Alabama river, thirty miles below the 
town of Cahawba, the seat of government for this state. 
From the paucity of the inhabitants, and the affliction many 
were suffering from a prevailing fever, there were not 
many that attended this meeting. Some disorder was wit- 
nessed ; but He that commanded the boisterous wmds to 
be still appeared in our behalf, and before the exercises 
closed some were brought, as we have reason to believe, 
to the knowledge of the truth. 

" August lOlh another meeting began, thirty miles above 
Cahawba, on the bank of the above-mentioned river. A 
numerous concourse of people attended, and much good 
was done. On Tuesday morning I requested all who had 
obtained an evidence of their conversion to God to come 
forward to the altar, when thirty-seven presented them- 
selves. The last two meetings were held in a forest, and 
the Indians were fishing in the river while we were 
preaching and praying ; the bears were ravaging the corn- 
fields, and the wolf and tiger were howling and screaming 
in the very woods in the neighborhood of our meeting. 

" These accounts may seem unimportant to those who 
are accustomed to more numerous congregations, and who 
have the privilege of assembling in convenient houses ; but 
to us, who are struggling with many difficulties in this 
newly settled country, it is highly gratifying, and fills us 
with a pleasing hope of yet seeing the desert blossom as 
the rose" 

192 A HISTORY OF THE [1821. 

Fifty preachers were located this year, twenty-two 
returned supernumerary, fifty-five superannuated, and 
five expelled. Three, Daniel Ireland, William M. 
Stilwell, and Willia?n Barton, had withdrawn, the 
last of whom joined the Protestant Episcopal Church. 
Six, namely, Samuel Parker, Charles Dickinson^ 
Archibald Robinson, John Robertson, Richard 
Emory, and Alpheus Davis, had finished their course 
in peace. 

Samuel Parker was eminently useful in his day and 
generation. He was a native of New- Jersey, ten in 
1774, of poor parents. At the age of fourteen he was 
brought from darkness to light, and became a member 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1805 he entered 
the traveling ministry, and was appointed to labor in 
the western country. It soon appeared that God was 
with him. " By his deep devotion to the work of God, 
and his eminent talents as a preacher of righteousness, 
he acquired the confidence of his brethren, and com- 
manded the respect of the community generally. In 
1815 he was appointed the presiding elder of the Miami 
district, and from thence, in the next year, was trans- 
ferred to the Kentucky district, in which he continued 
four years. In this station he was greatly blessed in 
his labors, during which time he was married to Miss 
Oletha Tilton. 

Being called by the bishop to fill an important post 
in the bounds of the Mississippi conference, though his 
health was evidently declining, he consented to be trans- 
ferred to that more distant field of labor. He soon, 
however, sunk under the influence of disease, and on 
the 20th of December, 1819, he died in peace. 

The Rev. Samuel Parker was a man of deep expe- 


rience, of fervent piety, of stern integrity, and possessed 
talents of the most useful character as a minister of Je- 
sus Christ. His method of preaching was well calcu- 
lated to sooth the mind of the believer by the sweet and 
rich promises of the gospel, as well as to inspire hope 
and faith in the broken-hearted, penitent sinner. And 
his general deportment as a Christian minister, among 
his brethren and the people of his charge, inspired such 
confidence in his wisdom and the purity of his motives 
as gave him a pow^erful influence over others, and he 
exerted it at all times for their present and future wel- 
fare. Had he lived to " threescore years and ten," no 
doubt he would have ranked among the first ministers 
in the Methodist Episcopal Church ; but that God who 
"seeth the end from the beginning"' saw fit to call him 
in the prime of life from the militant to the church tri- 
umphant, where he rests from his labors, and his 
works do follow hijn. 

Of the others whose death is recorded, it is said that 
they also filled up the measure of their days in usefiil- 
ness, and ended their lives in the full hope of the gospel. 

Number of Church members. 

Whites. Colored. Total. Preachers. 

This year 239,087 42,059 281,146 977 
Last year 219,332 40,558 259,890 896 

Increase 19,755 1,501 21,256 81 

1822. This year two more Indian missions were 
commenced, one among the Mohawks in Upper Ca- 
nada, and the other among the Creeks, called the 
Asbiiry mission. As the latter, after much expense 
and labor, failed in the accomplishment of its objects, 
perhaps it may be as well to give the history of its com- 

VoL. ITL— 9 

194 A HISTORY or THE [1822. 

mencemeiit, progress, and termination, once for all, in 
this place. 

As before stated, the charge of this mission was con- 
fided, by Bishop M'Kendree, to the Rev. William 
Capers, of the South Carolina conference. After travel- 
ing extensively through the state of Georgia, endeavor- 
ing to awaken the missionary spirit, and collect funds 
to defray the expense for an outfit of the mission, in the 
month of August of this year, in company with Colonel 
Richard Blount, a pious and intelligent member of our 
Church, he arrived at the Creek agency, on FHnt river. 
After witnessing some debasing scenes of amusement 
among the females, and one of those Indian playg 
which was conducted with a rude display of Indian 
dexterity, and daring feats of ferocious gallantry, he 
obtained an introduction to General M'Intosh, the prin- 
cipal man of the nation. As an instance of the lordly 
bearing of this chief, who prided himself for having 
fought the battles of his country, as a general in the 
ranks of the Indian allies, under the command of the 
hero of New-Orleans,* may be mentioned his refusing 

* M'Intosh accompanied General Jackson in his campaign 
against the Seminole Indians. In a more private interview 
with Kennard, another Indian warrior, the latter related the 
manner in which the army was arranged at the time the 
descent was made. While he adverted to his command in 
one wing of the army, his eye sparkled with conscious pride 
at the recollection of the honor which had been conferred 
upon him. " In the middle," said he, " was General Jack- 
son ; on the right. M'Intosh ; on the left, me." 

This man was sick at the time the talk was had with 
M'Intosh, which, however, was held near the bed on which 
he reposed. As Mr. Capers offered a dime to one of his 
children, he asked, "Is that httle girl big enough to go to 
school?" On being informed she was, he eagerly replied, 


to converse with Mr, Capers, though he perfectly un- 
derstood the Enghsh language, only through the me- 
dium of an interpreter, assuming, in the mean time, all 
the etiquette of a stately prince in the reception of an 

The interview resulted in an agreement between the 
parties for the estabhshment of a mission, with liberty 
to use so much land only as should be found necessary 
to raise provision for the mission family, and for build- 
ing the needful houses ; and the Rev. Isaac Hill, an 
old, tried, experienced minister was appointed in charge 
of the mission. But notwithstanding the favorable be- 
ginning of this laudable attempt to convey the blessings 
of the gospel to these heathen, so long neglected by the 
Christian church, difficulties of a formidable character 
soon made their appearance. Some of the chiefs, who 
were not present at the council when the above agree- 
ment was ratified, raised objections against the enter- 
prise, and thus created so many jarring sentiments in 
the nation, that for a time it was doubted, among the 
friends of the cause, whether it was best to continue the 
effort. It was, however, continued. A school was 
opened for the instruction of the children, but the mis- 
sionary was forbidden, through the influence of the 
opposing chiefs, to preach the gospel to the adult In- 
dians. It was also strongly suspected that the United 
States agent lent the weight of his influence against 

" I have seven of them ; and when you come back and begin 
your school I will send four." What a pity that a love of 
heathenism should have defeated the benevolent project of 
teaching these young immortals letters and the Christian 
religion ! And much more that white men, born and edu- 
cated in a Christian land, should have contributed to its 
defeat ! 

196 A HISTORY OF THE [1822. 

the prosecution of the mission, though an investigation 
of his conduct resulted in his justification by the govern- 
ment of the United States. And the following extract 
from the letter of instructions whicli was sent to the In- 
dian agent will show that the officers of the government 
took a lively interest in the objects of this mission. The 
secretary of war, the Honorable John C. Calhoun^ after 
expressing his regret that any difficulties should have 
arisen between the missionaries and Colonel Crowell, 
the Indian agent, expresses himself in the following 
language : — • 

" The president takes a deep interest in the success of 
every effort, the object of which is to improve the condi- 
tion of the Indians, and desires that every aid be furnished 
by the Indian agents in advancing so important an object ; 
and he trusts that your conduct will be such as to avoid 
the possibility of complaint on the part of those who are 
engaged in this benevolent work. 

" You will give a decided countenance and support to 
the Methodist mission, as well as to any other society that 
may choose to direct its efforts to improve the condition 
of the Creek Indians. It is not conceived that they can 
have any just cause of apprehension against the privilege 
of preaching the gospel among them ; and you will use a 
decided influence with them to reconcile them to its ex- 
ercise on the part of the mission. The department feels 
confident that, by proper efforts on your part, you may se- 
cure to the mission the right of preaching among the In- 
dians, which is deemed to be so essentially connected 
with the objects of the society." 

Notwithstanding this favorable regard toward tlie 
mission by the government of the United States, and 
the persevering efforts of the missionaries themselves, 


the mission was destined to undergo a sad declension 
in its affairs, and, after lingering for a while, was finally 
abandoned in despair. In addition to the barriers 
thrown in the way of the missionaries by the hostile 
chiefs and their partisans, were the troubles arising out 
of the treaty made by M'Intosh and his party, by which 
the lands included in the chartered limits of Georgia 
were ceded to the United States, for the benefit of the 
state of Georgia, for the consideration of the sum of four 
hundred thousand dollars. This gave great offence to 
the majority of the nation, who affirmed that M'Intosh 
and those who acted with him executed this treaty con- 
trary to a law which had been promulgated in the pub- 
lic square, and they arose against him with violence, 
and massacred him and some others under circum- 
stances of great barbarity. This threw the nation into 
great confusion, and exerted a most deleterious influ- 
ence upon the interests of the mission. 

The school, however, was continued under all these 
discouragements, and by the judicious manner in which 
it was conducted, and the manifest improvement of the 
children, both in letters and religion, it acquired the 
confidence and respect of all who made it an object of 
inquiry. And the restraints against preaching the gos- 
pel being removed in 1826, owing, in a great measure, 
to the interference in behalf of the mission by the United 
States government, tlie mission presented a more flat- 
tering prospect, so that in 1829 there were reported 
seventy-one Church members at the Asbury station, 
namely, two whites, twenty-four Indians, and forty-five 
colored ; and the school consisted of fifty scholars. 
Under this state of things the friends of the cause fondly 
anticipated a final triumph over infidelity and heathen 


198 A HISTORY OF THE [1822. 

superstition among this nation of Indians. But, alas ! 
how often are all human expectations blaytecl ! 

Such were the difficulties thrown in the way of this 
mission, that in 1830 it was entirely abandoned. Their 
confirmed habits of intemperance, their predilection for 
savage life, the persevering opposition of most of the 
chiefs to the self-denying doctrines of the gospel, toge- 
ther with their proximity to dissipated whites, whose 
interest was promoted by furnishing the Indians with 
means of intoxication, combined, with the troubles aris- 
ing out of the murder of M'Intosh and others, to para- 
lyze the efforts of the missionaries and their friends, and 
they were reluctantly compelled to abandon the enter- 
prise in despair. The labor, however, was not lost; 
lasting impressions were made upon some minds; and 
some who w^ere removed to the west have been ga- 
thered into the fold of Christ, and others^ who have been 
since that time converted to the Christian faith, have 
traced their first impressions to the instructions of " fa- 
ther Hill" and his pious associates. 

Another aboriginal mission was commenced this year. 
This was among the Mohawks of Upper Canada. They 
had been partially civilized, and imperfectly instructed 
in the Christian religion ; and yet their moral and re- 
ligious state was very far from being improved. 

They were settled principally on an Indian resei-va- 
tion of land, sixty miles in length and twelve in breadth, 
on each side of the Grand river. At the head of this 
tribe was the celebrated Mohawk chief, Colonel Brant, 
whose name carried such terror into our frontier settle- 
ments during the revolutionary war. Soon aftei' the 
termination of this severe struggle, chiefly through his 
solicitation, the Society for the Promotion of Christian 


Knowledge adopted measures to furnish these people 
with Christian instruction. A missionary was sent to 
preach to them, and the Gospel of St. Mark and the 
Prayer Book were translated into the Mohawk lan- 
guage, the former by Colonel Brant himself. But little 
permanent good, however, resulted from these efforts. 
Instead of producing any radical change in the heart 
and life of the people, they were merely initiated into 
an observance of the external rites and ceremonies of 
the church, while, like all other tribes who had mingled 
with the unconverted whites, they had become addicted 
to intemperance and its kindred vices. 

In this state they were when visited by a Methodist 
missionary this year. It is true, that from the time the 
Methodist itinerants first visited that country, they were 
in the habit of preaching occasionally to these people, 
but with little apparent effect. As early as the year 
1801 an Indian youth was baptized at a quarterly 
meeting held at the house of Mr. Jones, the father of 
Peter Jones, whose conversion and labors will be here- 
after noticed ; and it is remembered well that when Mr. 
Joseph Sawyer, the administrator of the ordinance, con- 
cluded the ceremony by prayer, he prayed most fer- 
vently that this youth might be the first-fruits of a 
harvest of souls from among these natives. The wife 
of Mr. Jones also, who was a Mohawk princess, was 
baptized about the same time, and received into the 
Church with her husband. These were all the abori- 
ginal conversions known to the writer before the re- 
formation of which we now speak commenced. 

The mission was begun under the patronage of the 
Genesee conference, to which Upper Canada was then 
attached, and Alvin ToiTy was appointed to its charge. 


200 A HISTORY OF THE [1822. 

The following extracts of letters received from brother 
Case will fully explain the manner iii^ which this good 
work began and was carried forward : — 

" When I visited and preached to these Indians last 
June, I found several under awakenings ; for they had 
heard occasionally a sermon from brothers Whitehead, 
Storey, and Matthews ; and had for some time been in the 
habit of coming together at the house of T. D. to hear 
prayers in the Mohawk. Several manifested much con- 
cern, and appeared very desirous of the prayers and advice 
of the pious. These, with two youths who had lately re- 
ceived religious impressions at the Ancaster camp meet- 
ing, I formed into a society, giving charge of the society 
to brother S. Crawford. His account of the progress of 
the revival during my absence to conference I here insert, 
from his letter to me. We must beg some indulgence for 
being particular, considering that the subjects of this work 
are the first-fruits unto Christ, and that this revival may 
be seen in the native simplicity of these artless Indians. 
Brother C.'s account is as follows : — 

" ' During your absence to the conference I have con- 
tinued to meet with our red brethren every week, giving 
them public discourses, as well as answering their anxious 
inquiries concerning the things of God. The Lord has 
indeed been gracious to this people, pouring out his Holy 
Spirit on our assemblies, and thereby giving the spirit of 
penitence, of prayer, and of praise. About the first who 
appeared deeply concerned for their souls were two wo- 
men. One of them had, about fourteen years ago, known 
the way of the Lord, and had belonged to our society in 
the Alleghany. Having been a long time without the 
means of grace, she had lost her comforts and her zeal for 
God ; but now, being again stirred up to return to the 
Lord, she became useful to others of her sex who were 


inquiring for the way of life. The other was a woman of 
moral deportment, and of respectable standing among her 
nation, but of great and painful afflictions : by a series of 
family trials she had been borne down with overwhelm- 
ing sorrows. To this daughter of affliction the other wo- 
man gave religious counsel, urging that if she would give 
her heart to the Lord he would give comfort to her mind, 
as well as direct and support her in her worldly troubles. 
She listened to these things with much concern, and as 
she went to the spring for water she turned aside several 
times to pray. At length, under a sense of her unworthi- 
ness and sinfulness, she sunk to the earth, and was help- 
less for some time. When she recovered strength she 
came into her house, and calling her children around her, 
they all kneeled down to pray. While at prayer a weight 
of power came on them — the daughter of fifteen cried 
aloud for mercy, and the mother again sunk to the floor. 
The daughter soon found peace, and praised the Lord. 
While the mother was yet mourning and praying, the 
youngest daughter, not yet four years of age, first kneeled 
by her mother, praying : then coming to her sister, she 
says, " Onetye ragh a gwogii nos ha ragh ge hea steage ? 
Onetye ragh a gwogh nos ha ragh ge hea steage ?" that is, 
" Why don't you send for the minister ? why don't you 
send for the minister ?" showing thereby a religious con- 
cern and intelligence remarkable for one of her age. The 
mother soon after obtained peace. She with her children 
are now a happy family, walking in the enjoyment of the 
Holy Comforter. Thus did the Lord bring these sincere 
inquirers to the knowledge of himself, while they were 
alone, calling on his name. 

" ' Another instance of extraordinary blessing among 

this people was on sabbath, the 27th of July last, when 

one of our brethren came to hold meeting with them. 

During singing and prayer there was such melting of heart 

9* 3 

202 A HISTORY OF THE [1822. 

and fervency throughout the assembly ; — some trembled 
and wept, others sunk to the floor, and there was a great 
cry for mercy through the congregation. Some cried in 
Messessaugah, " Chemenito ! Kitta maugesse, chemuche 
nene," &c. ; that is, " Great good Spirit! I am poor and 
evil," (fee. Others in Mohawk prayed, " O Sayaner, 
souahhaah sadoeyn Roewaye Jesus Christ, Tandakwean- 
derhek ;" that is, " O Lord, the only begotten Son Jesus 
Christ, have mercy on us !" Others were encouraging the 
penitents to cast their burdens on the Lord. Others again 
were rejoicing over their converted neighbors. In this 
manner the meeting continued throughout the day. While 
these exercises were going on a little girl ran home to call 
her mother, who came directly over to the meeting. On 
entering the room where the people were praying she was 
smitten with conviction, and fell down crying for mercy. 
While in this distress her husband was troubled lest his 
wife should die, but was happily disappointed when, a 
few hours after, her sorrows were turned into joy, and she 
arose praising the Lord. From this time the husband set 
out to serve the Lord, and the next day he also found 
peace to his soul, as I will hereafter relate. During the 
day several found the Saviour's love, and retired with great 
peace and comfort ; while others, with heavy hearts, wept 
and prayed as they returned comfortless to their habita- 
tions. The next day I visited them, when they welcomed 
me with much affection, declaring what peace and happi- 
ness they felt since their late conversion. A number soon 
came together, among whom was the Indian who, the day 
before, was so concerned for his wife. His convictions 
for sin appeared deep, and his mind was in much distress. 
We joined in prayer for him ; when I had closed, an In- 
dian woman prayed in Mohawk. While she was with 
great earnestness presenting to the Lord the case of this 
broken-hearted sinner, the Lord set his soul at liberty. 


Himself and family have since appeared much devoted to 
the service of the Lord. The next morning, assisted by 
an interpreter, I again preached to the Indians. After the 
meeting, observing a man leaning over the fence weeping, 
I invited him to a neighboring thicket, where I sung and 
prayed with him. I then called on him to pray ; he be- 
gan, but cried aloud for mercy with much contrition of 
spirit ; but his tone was soon changed from prayer to 
praise. The work is spreading into a number of families. 
Sometimes the parents, sometimes the children, are first 
brought under concern. Without delay they fly to God 
by prayer, and generally they do not long mourn before 
their souls are set at liberty. The change which has 
taken place among this people appears very gTeat, and, I 
doubt not, will do honor to the cause of religion, and 
thereby glorify God, who has promised to give the Gen- 
tiles for the inheritance of his Son.' 

" On my return from conference I called and preached 
to the Mohawks, and have it on my plan to continue to 
attend to them in my regular route. After having ex- 
plained the rules of society to them, twenty were admitted 
as members of society. It was a season of refreshing to 
us all. On the 28th of September I again preached to 
them. The crowd was now such that they could not all 
get into the house. Their usual attention and fervor were 
apparent, and near the conclusion of the discourse the 
hearts of many were affected, and they praised the Lord 
for his power and goodness. In meeting them in class 
they appeared to be progressing finely, advancing in the 
knowledge and love of God. Several who had been under 
awakening, having now returned from their hunting, re- 
quested to be received, and were admitted into the society. 
The society now consists of twenty-nine members, three 
of whom are white persons. We have also a sabbath 
school of Indian children, consisting of about twenty, who 

204 A HISTORY OF THE [1822. 

are learning to read. Some young men have kindly of- 
fered their services to instruct them. This good work is 
about fifty miles from the mouth of the Grand river, about 
six miles from the Mohawk village, and four miles north 
of the great road leading from Ancaster to Longpoint. 
About twelve miles from the mouth of the Grand river 
another gracious work is commenced, among both Indians 
and whites.* About twelve have found peace to their 
souls, among whom are four of the Delaware tribe. This 
awakening first took place in the mind of a white man — a 
notorious sinner. It was in time of preaching that the 
power of God arrested him. He wept and trembled like 
Belteshazzar. After meeting he came to me, saying, ' I 
don't know what is the matter with me. I never felt so 
before : I believe I am a great sinner, but I wish to do 
better : what shall I do to be saved V I told him the 
Spirit of the Lord was upon him, to convince him of sin, 
and he must repent and turn to God. There is evidently 
a great change in this man, who we hope may be an honor 
to the cause of religion in this wicked part of the reserva- 
tion. The awakening is prevailing in several families. 
We have twelve in society here. In the townships of 
Rainham and Walpole there are still good appearances. 
Indeed, at most of my appointments we have the presence 
and blessing of the Lord ; so that our missionary friends 
will have no occasion to repent the prayers they have of- 
fered, the money they have expended, and the tears they 
have shed in behalf of the once miserable and forsaken 
sinners, but now happy and bless ?d converts, on the Grand 
river. Much labor is now necessary, and I would gladly 
have assistance ; but my health is good, and I would not 
increase expenses. In weariness my mind is comforted, 

* A small settlement of white people on the Indian lands 
here borders on a settlement of the Delaware Indians. 


and my soul is delighted in feeding these hungry natives 
with the provisions of the gospel. O, I could endure 
hunger, or sit down thankfully to their humble fare, or lie 
down in Indian wigwams all my life, to be employed in 
such a work as this, and especially if favored with such 
consolations as at times I have enjoyed since I commenced 
my labors in this mission. I hope for ever to be grateful 
for His mercy in thus blessing his word for the conver- 
sion of these poor perishing sinners. Dear sir, a letter of 
instruction and counsel would be thankfully received. I 
hope I have an interest in the prayers of my brethren. 
Farewell. Very affectionately yours in the gospel of 

*' Letter from the Rev. William Case, dated Niagara, U. C, 
October 7, 1823. 
" In my letter of the 27th of August I mentioned that an 
awakening had taken place among the Indians on the 
Grand river, and promised a more particular account of 
this work after my next visit among them. But as brother 
Torry has sent you a pretty full account, a few remarks 
will suffice. On the 24th of September, in company with 
a religious friend, we passed into the woods, and arrived 
at the Indian dwellings about nine o'clock in the morning, 
a time at which they generally hold their morning devo- 
tions. We were received with cordial kindness, and the 
shell was blown as a call to assemble for religious service. 
Soon the people, parents and children, were seen in all 
directions repairing to the house of prayer. When they 
arrived they took their seats with great solemnity, observ- 
ing a profound silence till the service commenced. Having 
understood that they were in the habit of singing in the 
Mohawk, I requested them to sing in their usual manner, 
which they did melodiously. The following verse is 
taken from the hymn, and the translation into English is 

annexed : — 


206 A HISTORY OF THE [1822. 

' sa ya ner Tak gwogh sni ye nough 
Ne na yonk high sweagh se, 
Ne o ni a yak hi sea ny, 
Sa ya ner tes hegh sm'yeh.' 

' Enlighten our dark souls, till they 
Thy sacred love embrace : 
Assist our minds (by nature frail) 
With thy celestial grace.' 

" After the sermon several addressed the assembly in 
the Mohawk, and the meeting was concluded by prayer 
from one of the Indians in his native tongue. The use of 
ardent spirits appears to be entirely laid aside, while the 
duties of religion are punctually and daily observed. The 
hour of prayer is sounded by the blowing of the shell, 
when they attend for their morning meetings with the re- 
gularity of their morning meals. The Indians here are 
very desirous of obtaining education for their children, and 
they are making such efforts as their low circumstances 
will allow : for this purpose a school-house is commenced: 
a sabbath school is now in operation, where about twenty 
children are taught the rudiments of reading, and we are 
not without hope of seeing a day school established for 
the ensuing winter. Certainly this mission has been at- 
tended with the divine blessing beyond every expectation. 
It was not at first commenced with the professed design 
of converting the natives, (though they were had in view,) 
but for the benefit of the white inhabitants scattered over 
the Indian lands. The merciful Lord, however, has been 
pleased to endow the mission with abundant grace, and 
the friends of missions may now renew their songs of gra- 
titude and joy over thirty more converted natives of the 
forest, together with an equal number of converts among 
the white population." 

The Cherokee mission was also commenced this 
year. The Cherokee Indians inhabited a tract of country 


included in the slates of Georgia and North Carolina oq 
the east, Alabama on the west, and that part of Tennessee 
lying south of Hiwassee and Tennessee rivers, compris- 
ing not less than ten millions of acres. These natives 
had been partially civilized ; some of them had become 
wealthy, possessing domestic cattle in abundance, and 
were thriving agriculturists. ) White people had settled 
among them, intermarriages had taken place, so that 
there were many half-breeds of respectable standing 
and character, who could speak both the English and 
Cherokee languages, and many of the children were 
well educated. And had they been left undisturbed in 
their possessions, they doubtless would hav^e risen into a 
wealthy, intelligent, religious, and respectable com- 

The American Board of Missions commenced a mis- 
sion among these people as early as 1817, which has 
been much assisted in its funds by the government of 
the United States, and has, no doubt, exerted a salutary 
influence on the Indian character. 

It was in the spring of this year, at the request of a 
native Cherokee, by the name of Richard Riley, that 
the Rev. Richard Neeley, of the Tennessee conference, 
visited the nation, and preached in the house of Mr. 
Riley. In the course of the summer, being assisted by 
the Rev. Robert Boyd, Mr. Neeley formed a society of 
thirty-three members, and Richard Riley was appointed 
a class-leader. At a quarterly meeting which was held 
there a short time after, by the Rev. William M'Mahon, 
presiding elder of Hunts ville district, the power of God 
was displayed in a most signal manner, during which 
several of the natives found peace with God through 
faith in the Lord Jesus, and became members of the 


208 A HISTORY OF THE [1822. 

Cliuich. Ill December following (lie Rev. Andrew J. 
Crawford, who had been appoiiiled to the charge of this 
mission, arrived there, and met a council composed of 
the principal men of the nation, who approved of the 
mission, and, with their consent, a school was com- 
menced on the 30th of that montli. This was the be- 
ginning of the good work which terminated in the 
conversion of many of the Cherokees to the faith of 
Christianity. In reporting the state of this mission to 
the Tennessee conference, in 1822, the committee use 
the follow^ing language : — 

" Your committee look upon these openings of Divine 
Providence as special and loud calls to our conference, our 
superintendents, our ministers, and members in general, to 
unite their zeal and exertions, to afford this destitute peo- 
ple the means of salvation. 0, brethren ! come up to the 
help of the Lord against the mighty. What has God al- 
ready wrought, and how plain and simple the means by 
which he has performed the mighty work! Only con- 
sider, but two years ago a Methodist preacher had never 
preached in this part of the Cherokee nation. Our worthy 
and pious friend, Mr. Riley, as has been stated, invited 
brothers Neeley and Boyd to cross the Tennessee river 
and preach at his house, and these zealous and pious young 
men, who had just been called, like Elisha, from the 
plough to the pulpit, embraced the invitation, and flew 
upon the wings of love to plant the gospel among the In- 
dians, believing that a Methodist preacher is never out of 
his way when he is searching for the lost sheep of the 
house of Israel, and bringing sinners home to God. Robert 
Boyd is no more ! he is gone to his reward ; but he lives 
in the hearts of these pious Indians, and never, no, never, 
while their memory is left them, will they cease to re- 
member Robert Boyd. ' 


" We now have one hundred and eight regular members 
of society in this part of the nation, and a number of the 
children can read the word of God, and some of them can 
write a tolerably good hand ; and the whole amount of 
moneys expended does not exceed two hundred dollars. 
Indeed, your committee are of opinion, that a great parade 
about missionary establishments, and the expenditure of 
many thousands of dollars to give the heathen science and 
occupation, without religion, is of but little advantage to 
them. For, after all their acquirements, they are still sa- 
vages, unless their hearts be changed by the grace of God 
and the power of the gospel ; but this blessed gospel, 
which is the power of God to the salvation of all that be- 
lieve, whenever and wherever its divine influences are 
implanted in the heart by the efficient operations of the 
Holy Ghost, makes man a new creature, and fits him for 
his place in society." 

The success which attended these efforts among the 
aborigines of our country acted as a divine charm upon 
the members of the Church generally, and contributed 
not a little to diffuse the spirit of revival, and to excite 
a generous liberality throughout our entire borders. It 
tended also to silence the objections of those who had 
doubted the expediency of forming the society, or of the 
feasibility of reclaiming the wandering savages of our 
wildernesses from their heathenish superstitions and 
vicious habits. 

Besides these Indian missions, others were undertaken 
for the benefit of the destitute parts of the white settle- 
ments. Last year the Rev. Fitch Reed, of the Genesee 
conference, was appointed to York, (now Toronto,) in 
Upper Canada, with Rev. Keneth M. K. Smith as his 
helper. Their mission extended into the settlements in 
the neighborhood of Toronto, which, at that time, were 


210 A HISTORY OF THE [1822. 

new, poor, and destitute of the gospel. Some idea may 
be formed of the difficulties with which they had to 
contend in traveling through particular parts of the 
country, from the fact that brother Smith, who devoted 
himself chiefly to the back settlements, was in the habit 
of carrying an ax with him, so that when he came to a 
stream of water that he could not ford, (which was fre- 
quently the case,) he felled a tree across it, on which he 
passed over. In some instances, it is stated, where the 
trees stood opposite to each other on the banks of the 
creek, and formed a junction at the top, he would climb 
one tree and descend another, and thus pass on to his 
appointments among this scattered population. Their 
labors were blessed, and a foundation w£is laid for the 
establishment of societies which have subsequently much 

When they first went among the people they found 
them engrossed in the cares of the world, desecrating 
the sabbath for purposes of amusement, idle recreation, 
or secular labor ; and some who had once professed re- 
ligion had cast off the fear of God, and were hnmersed 
in the pleasures of sin. It was not long, however, be- 
fore the word took such effect that the houses were 
crowded with attentive hearers. The sabbath espe- 
cially, instead of being devoted to profane revelry, was 
spent in religious devotion, and many were inquiring 
what they should do to be saved. The result was, that 
this year, 1822, there were returned on the Minutes in 
this mission one hundred and four ; thirty-four in York, 
and seventy in the new settlements. 

To aid the missionaries in their work, the American 
Bible Society made a generous donation of Bibles and 


Testaments for gratuitous distribution among the poor 
in that district of country. 

Many parts of our general work were blessed with 
revivals of the work of God. Among others, the follow- 
ing may be mentioned : — Brooklyn, Long Island, was 
powerfully visited with the refreshing influences of the 
Spirit, under the labors of the Rev. Lewis Pease. This 
work commenced at a camp meeting held at Musquito 
Cove, Long Island, and was productive of the conver- 
sion and addition to the Church in that place of not 
less than one hundred souls. Several towns on the 
Amenia circuit were visited by powerful revivals, which 
terminated in the conversion of about two hundred 
souls, one hundred and seventy of whom joined our 
Church, and the rest were divided between the Presby- 
terians and Baptists. Among these converts, several, 
at a place called Oblong, had been Universalists. Being 
convinced of the excellence of the power of religion, 
they cast away their dependence upon a mere specula- 
tive belief in Christianity, and yielded to be saved noiOj 
by "grace, through faith." 

A work of God also pievailed on the Tolland circuit, 
New-England conference, which eventuated in the con- 
version of about two hundred and fifty, of almost all 
ages, and of both sexes. At a camp meeting held at 
East Hartford, which was numerously attended, there 
were manifest displays of the power and grace of God 
in the awakening and conversion of souls. The fi*uits 
of this revival Avere divided among the Methodists, Con- 
gregationalists, and Baptists, about one hundred being 
added to the Methodist Church.* 

* The Rev. Daniel Dorchester, who was the presiding 
elder of the district, in giving an account of this work, relates 


212 A HISTORY OF THE [1822. 

Tlie Upper Canada district, then under the charge 
of the Rev. William Case, is thus described by him : — 

" Blessed be the Lord, we are prospering finely in this 
country. Our congregations, sabbath schools, missionary 
collections, a church-building spirit, as well as conver- 
sions, and order and harmony in the societies, all demon- 
strate the rising strength of Zion in these parts. There 
are now finishing or commencing twenty churches in this 
upper half of the province. We have more than forty sab- 
bath schools, and one thousand scholars. These nurse- 
ries of virtue and religious information promise much to 
the prosperity of the rising generation, both in a civil and 
religious point of view. A great and happy improvement 
is visible since the close of the late war, which, in many 
places, by the confusion and calamities it introduced, had 
broken down the barriers of vice. Churches are crowded 
with listening hearers. Youth and children, instead of 
wandering in the fields, or loitering in the streets, are in 
many places thronging to the schools, with their books in 
their hands, and learning to read the book of God. One 
man, who has a large family of children, a few days since 
observed to me that, ' since sabbath schools began, he had 
had no trouble in the government of his family.' " 

the following affecting and mournful incident: — A young 
man. about eighteen years of age, who attended the meeting, 
was earnestly solicited by some of his young associates, who 
had recently embraced the Saviour, to seek the salvation of 
God. He constantly resisted their importunities, though 
they were seconded by preachers and other friends, by say- 
ing, " I will wait till I get home." On his way home he 
suddenly sprung from the wagon, and exclaimed, "Mother, 
I am dying ! I am dying ! I shall not live an hour ! O that 
I had sought religion at the camp meeting!" Though a 
physician was procured, it was in vain. His flesh soon as- 
sumed a purple hue, and the next day, at about eight o'clock, 
P. M., he breathed his last. 


On the Smyrna circuit, Delaware, there was an out- 
pouring of the Spirit, which resulted in the conversion 
of many souls ; one hundred and twenty were con- 
nected with our Church, forty of whom were colored 
people. Before this revival the colored members of the 
Church had been much divided in spirit, by the efforts 
of the Allenites to form a party ; but this good work had 
the happy effect of uniting them more closely together, 
and of cementing their union with the Church which 
had nursed them from their infancy. 

In Surry county, in Virginia, through the agency of 
camp meetings and other means of grace, about three 
hundred souls were brought to the knowledge of God 
by faith in Jesus Christ, and the geneial impression 
made on the public mind was most favorable to the 
cause of truth and love. In Lynchburg also, in this 
state, there were added to the Church upward of one 
hundred members, as the result of a revival in that 

At a camp meeting held in the Scioto district, Ohio, 
tlie work of God prevailed powerfully, and from thence 
spread in different directions through the country. This 
meeting, which was under the superintendence of the 
Rev. G. R. Jones, was attended by about sixty of the 
converted Indians of the Wyandots, among whom were 
several of the chiefs Avho had embraced Christianit}% 
These spoke in a most feeling manner of the work of 
God in their own hearts, and among the people of their 
nation, while tears of grateful joy bespoke the interest 
which the congregation felt in their spiritual and eternal 

On the Northumberland district, under the charge of 
the Rev. H. Smith, by means of various camp meetings 


214 A HISTORY OF THE [1822. 

which were held in the several circuits, not less than 
two hundred souls were brought to God, while a con- 
viction of the necessity of being reconciled to him through 
faith in his Son spread extensively among the people in 
that region of country. 

The Hudson river district, New- York conference, 
through a similar agency, shared largely in the good 
work this year. 

The New-Rochelle circuit. New- York, was blessed 
with a great revival of religion, under the labors of the 
Rev, Elijah Woolsey and his colleagues. White Plains, 
Rye, Sawpit, and New-Rochelle all shared in the bene- 
jfits of this glorious work : and so earnest were many to 
attend the meetings, with a view to seek the salvation 
of their souls, that some came from ten to twelve miles, 
and many such returned rejoicing in God their Saviour. 
In consequence of this work, the nett increase in this 
circuit among the whites was one hundred and nine.* 

In Washington city, D. C, God poured out his Spirit 
In a remarkable manner, in answer to the prayers of 
his people. During this work, in little more than two 
months, one hundred and fifty-eight were received into 
the Church as probationers. 

There was also a good work in the city of New- 
York, about three hundred being added to the Church. 
This was encouraging to those who had mourned over 
the departure of so many two years before. 

I have before remarked, that during this period of 
our history we were called upon to sustain a new war- 
fare to defend ourselves against the assaults of our 
opponents. Whether it was from jealousy of our rising 
prosperity, or from a real belief that our doctrines were 

* The exact number of conversions was not reported. 

1622.) MfitHOblST EPISCOPAL CHURCH. 2l5 

dangerous to the souls of men, other denominations, 
more particularly the Calvinists, seemed to rally to the 
charge against our ministry) the economy of our 
Church, and our modes of carrying on the work of 
God. Hence a spirit of controversy was infused into 
the sermons which were delivered by our preachers, 
much more than formerly, the necessity for which was 
urged from witnessing new modes of attack. Indeed, a 
new system of divinity was rising into notice, differing 
in som.e respects from the Calvinism of former days, in 
which a universal atonement was recognized in connec- 
tion with the doctrine of eternal and universal decrees, 
the force of which, however, it was attempted to avoid 
by inculcating the doctrine of a " natural ability and a 
moral inabiHty." By the use of this subtle distinction, 
and the doctrine of universal atonement, keeping out of 
view the old doctrine of universal decrees, some were 
induced to believe that the difference between this new 
divinity and Methodism was but slight, and therefore 
they might, so far as these doctrines were concerned, 
embrace one as well as the other. Our preachers felt 
it to be their duty to imravel the sophistry of these ar- 
guments, by showing that, so long as that doctrine of 
universal decrees, which involved the notion of uncon- 
ditional election and reprobation, was held fast, the two 
systems were at variance, and could never be made to 

We were also frequently denounced as Arminians. 
And Arminians were represented as denying the doc- 
tiine of human depravity, of regeneration by the effi- 
cient grace of God, and the necessity of divine aid in 
working out and securing our eternal salvation. As this 
was a most unjust imputation, we felt called upon to 


216 A HISTORY OF THE [1822. 

make a lull and fair statement of our doctrinal views, 
and to defend ourselves against such manifest perver- 
sions of our real, published, and acknowledged senti- 
ments. In doing this, though there may have been 
occasional exhibitions of heat on both sides, and a con- 
troversial spirit indulged, in some instances, to too great 
an extent, yet truth was elicited, and our doctrines and 
usages became better understood, and more highly and 
generally appreciated by the community. 

With a view to secure a more commodious and per- 
manent location for the Wesleyan seminary in the city 
of New- York, a site was this year procured in Crosby- 
street, by leasing three lots of ground, on which the 
trustees erected a brick building, sixty-five feet in length 
and forty in breadth, the upper part of which was 
occupied as a place of worship. Here a male and fe- 
male academy was kept until the premises were pur- 
chased by the agents of the Book Concern, in the year 
1824, when another building was procured in Mott- 
street. The academy at the White Plains grew out of 
the one first commenced in the city of New- York ; and 
when the property of the latter was disposed of, after 
discharging the debts of the institution, the balance was 
given to the White Plains academy, which has con- 
tinued to the present time. 

Though the Wesleyan seminary did not fully an- 
swer the benevolent designs of its original founders, it 
is believed that its establishment gave an impulse to the 
cause of education which has gone on increasing in 
power and influence to the present day. 

Thirty-seven preachers were this year located, twenty- 
four returned supernumerary, and seventy-one superan- 
nuated, and four had died, namely, Hamilton Jeffer- 


soii^ Edward Orein^ William Early ^ and John Pitts^ 
each of whom died in the full assurance of faith, 

Number of Church members. 

Whites. Colored. Total. Preachers. 

This year 252,645 44,377 297,022 1,106 
Last year 239,087 42,059 281,146 977 

Increase 13,558 2,318 15,876* 129 

It will be perceived that there was a more than usual 
increase to the number of traveling preachers, owing to 
a diminution in the number of locations, and a propor- 
tionate increase to the list of superannuated preachers. 
This was probably owing to the better provision which 
began to be made, in consequence of tlie regulations of 
the General Conference of 1816, for the support of the 
famiUes of preachers, and the furnishing parsonages 
for their accommodation. This last remedy, however, 
was but partially provided as yet, though the work was 
happily begun, and has been gradually going forward 
to tlje present time. 

1823. The work of God this year was steadily ad- 
vancing within the bounds of the several annual con- 
ferences. Some of the circuits in the older parts of the 
work, in consequence of the increase of members and 
societies, were much contracted, and the number of 
stations was necessarily multiplied. In this manner 
the work was becoming more and more compact, pas- 
toral labor more easily and punctually performed, and 
the local interests of each society more minutely at- 

* There is an error in the printed Minutes for this year, 
there being 700 less in the increase than what appears in the 

Vol. IIL— 10 

218 A HtSTOHY OF THE [1823. 

tended to. Still, new circuits were formed in the fron- 
tier settlements, new missions opened, and some villages 
and neighborhoods not before occupied by our ministry, 
through the aid of the Missionary Society, were supplied 
with the word and ordinances of God. These 1 shall 
endeavor to notice, so far as authentic documents and 
other sources of information will enable me to do it 

The Missionary Society, having been recognized by 
the General Conference, Vvas now considered as an in- 
tegral part of the general plan of carrying on the work 
of God, and was becoming more and more identified 
with the other institutions of the Church. Its blessed 
results, also, which were seen and felt, more especially 
among the wandering savages of our countr)^, entwined 
it around the affections of our people, and called forth 
their liberality for its support. 

The cause of missions was also much aided about 
this time by the eloquent appeals of the Rev. John 
Summerfield, a young minister who came over from 
Ireland and joined the New- York conference in 1821. 
He had attracted much attention since his arrival among 
us by the sweet and melting strains of his pulpit ora- 
tory, and as he entered into the spirit of our Missionary 
Society with great zeal and energy, he contributed 
much to the diffusion of its benevolent principles among 
the people at large. While stationed in the city of 
New- York, in 1822, where he drew vast multitudes to 
listen to the accents of redeeming love, which fell from 
his lips in the purest strains of gospel eloquence, he 
adopted the practice of delivering lectures to the children 
at stated times, at which he made collections to aid the 
Missionary Society. And the hearty and efficient man- 


ner in which he espoused this noble enterprise led the 
Young Men's Missionary Society of New- York to elect 
him as their president. His zeal in the cause of God, 
and the popularity of his talents for addressing public 
assemblies on anniversary occasions, induced so many 
applications from the benevolent and charitable societies 
for his services, to which he yielded with perhaps too 
great a readiness for his strength, that he found himself 
wearing out by the intensity of his labors. This in- 
duced him, by the advice of his physicians and friends, 
to make a voyage to France for the benefit of his 
health. While there he sent the following address to 
the society of which he was the president, and which, 
as a sample of the writer's manner of communicating 
his thoughts, and an evidence of the ardor with which 
he eniered into this subject, I think worthy of preserva- 
tion. It is as follows : — 

<' Marseilles, February 20, 1823. 

" Mv Dear Brethren': — You are too well acquainted 
with the circumstances which prevent my filHng the chair 
upon this pleasurable occasion, to require that I should 
dwell upon them ; indeed, it would be irrelevant to those 
important objects which have assembled you together : not 
private sympathies, but the public good, will be your pre- 
sent theme ; and in this I realize my full share of joy with 
you, for although in a far distant land, and that a land of 
strangers, my affections point to those ' whom I love in the 
truth,' and with whom I glory to be in any wise associated 
in carrvins on the cause of our common Lord. 

" Upon the occasion of an anni^^ersary like yours, ex- 
hortation to renewed zeal might be deemed impertinent ; 
the pulse of every heart beats too high on such an occa- 
sion to anticipate any decay in your future exertions. This 


220 A HISTORY OF THE [1823. 

is rather a season of congratulation and rejoicing ; and in 
commencing another year of labor and reward, I devoutly 
implore for you a continuance of that grace which has 
enabled you to remain ' steadfast, immovable, always 
abounding in the work of the Lord.' 

" In common with all who love the interests of the Re- 
deemer's kingdom, I rejoice at witnessing that increase of 
missionary zeal and missionary means which the past year 
lays open, not only in your auxiliary and its parent society, 
but among other denominations of the Christian church ; 
in this ' you also joy and rejoice with me,' for ' whether 
Paul, Apollos, or Cephas, all are ours ;' — so that in what- 
ever part of the vineyard the work is wrought, we view it 
' not as the work of man, but as it is in truth, the work of 
God ;' lor ' neither is he that planteth any thing, neither 
he that watereth : it is God that giveth the increase.' We 
may collect from different funds, but we bring to the same 
exchequer ; and have no greater joy than in the accumu- 
lation of the revenue of that relative glory of the divine 
character which redounds from the salvation of men, 
' through Christ Jesus, unto the glory and praise of God 
the Father.' 

" But, abstracted from general views of the mighty work 
of missions, I regard the branch to which you are attached 
with peculiar pleasure on this occasion. You know that, 
from the beginning of our existence in the religious world, 
Methodism has always been a ' history of missions ;' its 
venerable founder, considering that this was the first cha- 
racter of the Christian church, ai^d believing it would be 
the last, even at that day when ' many shall run to and fro, 
and knowledge be hicreased,' wisely instituted a ministry 
which should be a standing monument of what God could 
do by this means. ' And what has God wrought V Some 
there are, whom the frost of many winters has not chilled 
to death, to whom our father's words may still be spoken. 


* Saw ye not the cloud arise — 
Little as a human hand V 

" Its present state we ourselves have lived to see : 

* Now it spreads along the skies — 

Hangs o'er all the thirsty land ! 
When he first the work begun, 

Small and feeble was his day ; 
Now the word doth swiftly run, 

Noio it wins its widening way ! 
More and more it spreads and grows ; 

Ever mighty to prevail. 
Sin's strong holds it now o'erthrows, 

Shakes the trembling gates of hell!' 

" Indeed, there are seasons wherein the overwhelming 
influence of these reflections so rests upon the mind, that 
unless we heard the warning voice, ' What doest thou here, 
Elijah?' we should stand at the base of this mighty struct- 
ure, and wholly spend our time for naught, in admiring 
the symmetry and proportion of all its parts, beholding 
' what manner of stones and buildings are here !' But, 
thus warned, we too ' arise and build.' Thus ' instead of 
the fathers are the children, and the children's children 
shall yet add thereto, till the topstone be raised, shouting, 
Grace, grace unto it !' 

" My dear brethren, if there is a scene within the uni- 
verse of God calculated to lift our minds to heaven ; if 
there is a scene calculated to bring down the heavenly 
host to earth, it is that which portrays in anticipation the 
final triumph of the ' gospel of the grace of God.' Yes, 
the gospel must ultimately and universally triumph ! Well 
may we exclaim, What an object is this ! It is the fairest 
scene that the pencil of heaven, dipped in the colors of its 
own rainbow, can delineate ; and even the great voice is- 
suing from the eternal throne can utter nothing more exhi- 
larating and sublime than the consummation of this event, 
' Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men !' Yes, my 
brethren, 8 

222 A HISTORY OF THE [1823. 

'Jesus shall reign where'er the sun 
Does his successive courses run.' 

" The glow which pervaded the apostle's mighty mind 
did not cause his pen to aberrate ; the spirit of inspiration 
sat upon him when he declared that Jesus ' must reign till 
he hath put all enemies under his feet.' That day will 
come! Do we expect to swell the number who shall grace 
his triumph ? Do we bum with seraphic ardor to be among 
his train ' when he shall be revealed from heaven with 
power and great glory V Then ' gird up the loins of your 
mind ; be sober, and hope to the end, for the grace that is 
to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ !' 
Wherefore ' comfort one another with these words,' for 
truly ' it is with the same comfort wherewith I myself am 
comforted of God.' 

" You, my dear brethren of this auxiliary, who are the 
managers of its concerns, I hail. I am also one of you. 

* I write unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and 
the word of God abideth in you.' Early separated from 
the world, and ardently employed in seeking the interests 
of ' a better country, that is, a heavenly, God is not ashamed 
to be called your God, for he has prepared for you a city.' 
' Walk therefore by the same rule, mind the same thing.' 
'Love not the world, neither the things that are in the 
world.' ' Set your aifections on things above, and not on 
things upon the earth.' Soon you shall hear it sounded, 

* Because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will 
make thee ruler over many things ; enter thou into the joy 
of thy Lord !' 

" The friends and subscribers of this auxiliary are enti- 
tled to your thanks ; they have merited them well ; by 
means of the numerous little streams which have been di- 
rected to our reservoir by the friends of missions, our 
'water-pots,' if not always full, have never become dry. 
on this occasion, however, you look to have them ' filled 


even to the brim ;' and may He who can convert our base 
material to subserve his glorious purpose of saving men, 
* draw forth' therefrom that ' wine of the kingdom which 
cheers the heart of God and man.' 

" I remain, my dear brethren, your fellow-laborer and 
servant, J. Summerfield." 

A mission was commenced this year among the Pot- 
tavvatamy Indians, a small tribe settled in the neigh- 
borhood of Fort Clark, on the Fox river, in the state of 
Illinois, and the Rev. Jesse Walker was appointed to 
prosecute its objects. 

But though he succeeded, after much toil and ex- 
pense, in establishing a school and conciliating the 
friendship of some of the adult Indians, yet the mis- 
sionary was compelled, after seven years of hard labor, 
to abandon the enterprise as hopeless. Their strong 
attachments to savage life, and incurable suspicions of 
white men, together with their final determination to 
remove west, frustrated the benevolent attempts to in- 
troduce the gospel and the arts of civiUzed life among 

A fragment of the Wyandot tribe of Indians was set- 
tled in Upper Canada, on the banks of the river Car- 
nard. These were first visited by Mr. Finley, and 
were afterward transferred to the care of Mr. Case, to 
whom the superintendence of all the aboriginal missions 
in that province was committed. About twenty of 
these Indians embraced the Christian faith, and became 
members of our Church. 

In the bounds of the Tennessee conference there was 
a missionary district formed, embracing that part of 
Jackson's Purchase that lies in the states of Tennessee 
and Kentucky, which was committed to the charge of 


224 A HISTORV OF THE [1823. 

the Rev. Lewis Garrett. This was a new country, 
rapidly filling up with inhabitants, and there were no 
less than nine preachers appointed to supply them with 
the means of salvation. As before remarked, Mr. Gar- 
rett was first appointed a missionary to this region of 
country, v/hich contained not less than ten thousand 
square miles, in 1820, and he succeeded in forming a 
four weeks' circuit, in which he was assisted, by the ap- 
pointment of the presiding elder, by Andrew J. Craw- 
ford. And so successful had they been in 1821, that 
in 1822 there were returned on the Minutes of the con- 
ference one hundred and fifty-five members, thirteen 
of whom were colored people. The inhabitants gene- 
rally received the messengers of the gospel with joyful 
hearts, opening their doors and making them welcome, 
and also contributing, according to their scanty means, 
for their support, for as yet the Missionary Society was 
able to appropriate but little for the furtherance of 
domestic missions. 

These men of God, though they had to contend with 
poverty, bad roads, and to preach in log huts, or under 
the foliage of the native trees, penetrated into every part 
of the country where settlements had been formed, and 
succeeded in establishing seven circuits, in which they 
returned for the Minutes of 1823 one thousand one 
hundred and twenty-six members, one hundred and 
one of whom were colored, chiefly slaves. 

This year the gospel was more extensively intro- 
duced into the territory of Michigan, which was erected 
into an independent state and received into the Union 
in the year 1836. 

This country was originally settled by the French, 
who sent Catholic missionaries there as early as 1648, 


and the city of Detroit was founded in 1670, by a few 
French families. Its growth was slow, but the people 
gradually enlarged their borders on each side of the De- 
troit river, a strait about twenty-four miles in length, 
which connects Lakes St. Clair and Erie. In 1763 
this country, together with Upper Canada, passed, by 
the right of conquest, from the French into the hands 
of the British, and so remained until the war of the 
revolution separated it from the British empire and 
connected it with the United States. After this, emi- 
grants from different parts of the Union began to mingle 
with the original settlei^. 

When this country was first visited by a Methodist 
missionary, in 1S04, it was in a deplorable state as to 
religion and morals.* In Detroit there was no preach- 
ing except by the French Catholics, and their influence 
in favor of the pure morality of the gospel was ex- 

* When the writer of this history visited Detroit, in 1804, 
he obtained an old building called the "Council House" to 
preach in. On his second visit, while preaching in the even- 
ing there arose a tremendous storm, accompanied with the 
most vivid lightning and awful peals of thunder. He conti- 
nued his sermon, however, reminding his hearers that this 
war in the elements was but a faint resemblance of that day 
when " the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and 
the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and 
the works that are therein shall be burned up." He was af- 
terward informed that some of " the baser sort" of the young 
men, after the candles were lighted, deposited some powder 
in them at such a distance from the blaze that they supposed 
it would take fire and explode during the sermon. They 
were disappointed. The exercises closed without any ex- 
plosion, because the candles had not burned down to the 
powder. These wags, after all was over, informed their as- 
sociates of what they had done, and remarked, that while 
the peals of thunder were bursting over the house, they 

10* 3 

236 A HISTORY OF THE [1823. 

tremely feeble. The few Protestant emigrants who 
had settled in Detroit and some of the adjoining places 
were entirely destitute of a ministry of their own order, 
and were fast assimilating into the customs and habits 
of those with whom they associated. And though re- 
peated eflforts had been made, from time to time, to es- 
tablish Methodism in Detroit, they must have been 
attended with but little success, for we find no members 
returned on the Minutes of conference for that place 
until the year 1822, and then the number was only 

This year, 1823, the Rev. Alfred Brunson was sta- 
tioned on the Detroit circuit, which stretched through 
the country for four hundred miles. This he and his 
colleague, the Rev. Samuel Baker, surrounded each 
once in four weeks, giving the people a sermon every 
two weeks ; and their labois were so far blessed, that in 
1824 the number of Church members had increased to 
one hundred and sixty-one. 

This year a small society was formed at St. Mary's. 
This was a military post belonging to the United States, 
situated on the strait by that name, about eighty miles 
in length, and which connects Lakes Superior and Hu- 
ron, and is about four hundred miles in a northerly 
direction from Detroit. The most of this distance, at 
that time, was a wilderness, infested with beasts of 
prey, and dotted with here and there an Indian village. 
It was at this place that a few pious soldiers, who had 
been converted at Sackett's Harbor, were removed, and, 

were fearful that the Almighty was about to hurl a bolt at 
their heads, as a punishment for their wickedness, and hence 
they sat trembling for their fate during the greater part of 
the sermon. 


being almost destitute of every religious privilege, formed 
themselves into a class, chose a leader, and met together 
for mutual edification and comfort, holding their meet- 
ings in the woods until the barracks were erected, when 
they were allowed the use of the hospital. They were 
much assisted by the good countenance of Lieutenant 
Becker, a pious member of the Presbyterian Church, to 
whom they were attracted by a congeniality of feeling, 
and they were mutually refreshed and strengthened in 
their social meetings. In the course of the winter their 
number increased to about fourteen, which much encou- 
raged them to persevere in their work of faith and labor 
of love. 

This state of things in that part of the country in- 
duced Mr. Brunson to call loudly for help, and this led 
to the establishment of St. Mary's mission a short time 

The territory of Florida had recently been ceded to 
the United States, as an indemnity for the spoliations 
committed upon our commerce by Spanish cruisers ; 
and as it is the policy of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church to enter every open door for the spread of the 
gospel, a missionary, the Rev. Joshua N. Glenn, was 
sent this year to St. Augustine, the oldest town in North 
America, and capital of East Florida. Most of the in- 
habitants of this place and the surrounding country are 
of Spanish descent, and members of the Roman Ca- 
tholic Church. There w^ere, how^ever, a few Anglo- 
Americans settled among tlie Creoles, to whom our 
missionary addressed himself in the name of the Lord, 
and he succeeded in raising a society of fifty-two mem- 
bers, forty of whom were people of color. This, how- 
ever, has been a barren place for the growth of Method- 


228 A HISTORy OF THE [1823. 

ism ; for even now, (1840,) after continued efforts of 
seventeen years, St. Augustine is scarcely represented 
among- our stations. This, however, is owing to other 
causes than the want of a disposition on the part of the 
people to receive the gospel. The late Indian warfare 
has exerted a most destructiv^e influence upon the reli- 
gious state of the population through all that region of 
country, and more particularly upon the citizens of St. 
Augustine, the chief rendezvous of hostile armies. 

Chatahoochee, in the bounds of the Florida territory, 
was also selected as missionary ground, and its cultiva- 
tion was committed to Messrs. John J. Triggs and John 
Slade. They entered upon their work with zeal and 
perseverance ; and notwithstanding the newness of the 
country, and the scattered state of the population, there 
were returned on the Minutes for 1824, as the fruit of 
their labor, three hundred and fifty-six members, sixty- 
four of whom were colored people. 

The Rev. Alexander Talley was appointed a mis- 
sionary this year to Pensacola, Mobile, and Blakely. 
Though no immediate fruit of his labor in these places 
Avas seen, yet he opened the way for the introduction 
of the gospel into that region of country, which has 
since flourished under the labors of those who suc- 
ceeded him in his work. 

St. Mary's, situated near the mouth of St. Mary's 
river, in the state of Georgia, near the frontier of Flo- 
rida, was visited this year with a revival of the work of 
God, under the ministry of the Rev. Elijah Sinclair. 
Though there had been in this place once a flourishing 
society, it had become scattered abroad, so that when 
Mr. Sinclair arrived there, in 1822, he could scarcely 
find a "place for the sole of his foot:" but he soon 


obtained favor in the eyes of the people, and God so 
blessed his faithful labors, that in 1823 there were re- 
turned forty-one members of the Church ; and the good 
work has gradually increased from that time to this. 

Cumberland mission, in Kentucky, was commenced 
this year by the Rev. William Chambers. He so far 
succeeded in his efforts as to return two hundred and 
sixty-one members, two hundred and fifty-one whites 
and ten colored, in 1824. 

In 1821 Methodism was introduced into the town of 
St. Louis, by the Rev. Jesse Walker, who went there 
as a missionary under the direction of the Missouri con- 
ference. St. Louis is the largest town on the west bank 
of the Mississippi river, and second to New-Orleans in 
importance as a place for commercial pursuits. Its 
original settlers were French Roman Catholics, this be- 
ing another in the range of settlements which they 
estabhshed along the course of the waters from duebec 
to New-Orleans. It had been, for some time before 
this, rising in importance, and increasing in its popula- 
tion by emigrations from different parts of the United 
States and from the old world, and was considered the 
centre of commerce in that part of the country. 

In this mixed population the missionary had some 
prejudices to encounter, and the more so on account of 
the indiscreet conduct of some who had represented the 
citizens of that place to the eastern churches as being 
but little removed from barbarians. Mr. Walker, how- 
ever, was kindly received by a few, and he gradually 
gained the confidence of the community, raised a so- 
ciety of about one hundred members, and succeeded in 
building a house of worship thirty-five feet in length 
and twenty-five in width. The Rev. Alexander M'AI- 


230 A HISTORY OF THE [1823. 

lister, in giving an account of this work, adverts to the 
Missionary Society in the following words : — 

" It is yet in its infancy, but its growing importance 
portends greater good to mankind than any institution of 
the kind hitherto known. I am induced to beheve that 
there will be both numerous and liberal contributions to 
support the institution, since the money so raised is to be 
deposited in the hands of men who will, no doubt, distri- 
bute it with an economical hand for the support of those 
missionaries whose zeal is not a transient blaze, but a 
constant flame, consuming vice and iniquity before it, and 
with a gentle hand leading the penitent sons and daughters 
of men up to the throne of grace, where they may obtain 
the mercy and salvation of God."" 

Mr. Walker was reappointed to St. Louis in 1822, at 
the end of which year there were returned, including 
the station and circuit, one hundred and sixty-six white 
and forty colored members of the Church. He was 
succeeded this year by the Rev. William Beauchamp, 
whose labors were acceptable and useful, and the cause 
has gradually gone forward from that time to this. 

The aboriginal missions, which had been begun 
under such favorable auspices, and which promised so 
much good to the wandering tribes of our wildernesses, 
continued to prosper this year more than ever. These, 
together with the exertions which were made in their 
behalf, tended powerfully to awaken a deep and lively 
interest through the ranks of our Israel in favor of pro- 
secuting the cause with increasing zeal and energy. 
The Wyandot mission, which had been committed lo 
the care of Mr. Finley, was this year visited by Bishop 
M'Kendree, who entered most heartily into the cause 
of missions, contributing to its support, and giving, by 


his example, an impetus to the work in every direction. 
And as his testimony is that of an eye-witness, capable 
of estimating the nature and importance of the reforma- 
tion which had been effected among these people, the 
reader will be pleased to read it in the bishop's own 
words. It is as follows : — 

"On Saturday, the 21st of June, about ten o'clock in 
the morning, we arrived safe, and found the mission family 
and the school all in good health ; but was much fatigued 
myself, through affliction and warm weather, which was 
quite oppressive to me in crossing over the celebrated 
Sandusky Plains, through which the road lies. 

" In the afternoon we commenced visiting the schools, 
and repeated our visits frequently during the five days 
which we stayed with them. These visits were highly 
gratifying to us, and they afforded us an opportunity of 
observing the behavior of the children, both in and out of 
school, their improvement in learning, and the whole order 
and management of tbe school ; together with the profi- 
ciency of the boys in agriculture, and of the girls in the 
various domestic arts. They are sewing and spinning 
handsomely, and would be weaving if they had looms. 
The children are cleanly, chaste in their manners, kind to 
each other, j eaceable and friendly to all. They promptly 
obey orders, and do their work cheerfully, without any 
objection or murmur. They are regular in their attend- 
ance on family devotion and the public worship of God, 
and sing delightfully. Their proficiency in learning was 
gratifying to us, and is well spoken of by visitors. If they 
do not sufficiently understand what they read it is for the 
want of suitable books, especially a translation of English 
words, lessons, hymns, &c., into their own tongue. , 

" But the change which has been wrought among the 
adult Indians is wonderful ! This people, ' that walked in 


232 A HISTORY OF THE [1823. 

darkness, have seen a great light ; they that dwelt in the 
land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light 
shined.' And they have been ' called from darkness into 
the marvelous light' of the gospel. To estimate correctly 
the conversion of these Indians from heathenish darkness, 
it should be remembered that the Friends (or Quakers) 
were the first to prepare them in some degree for the in- 
troduction of the gospel, by patiently continuing to counsel 
them, and to afford them pecuniary aid. 

*' The first successful missionary that appeared among 
them was Mr. Steward, a colored man, and a member of 
our Church. The state of these Indians is thus described 
by him, in a letter to a friend, dated in June last : — 

*' * The situation of the Wyandot nation of Indians when 
I first arrived among them, near six years ago, may be 
judged of from their manner of living. Some of their 
houses were made of small poles, and covered with bark ; 
others of bark altogether. Their farms contained from 
about two acres to less than half an acre. The women 
did nearly all the work that was done. They had as 
many as two ploughs in the nation, but these were seldom 
used. In a word, they were really in a savage state,' 

" But now they are building hewed log houses, with 
brick chimneys, cultivating their lands, and successfully 
adopting the various agricultural arts. They now manifest 
a relish for, and begin to enjoy the benefits of civilization ; 
and it is probable that some of them will this year raise 
an ample support for their families, from the produce of 
their farms. 

" There are more than two hundred of them who have 
renounced heathenism and embraced the Christian reli- 
gion, giving unequivocal evidence of their sincerity, of the 
reality of a divine change. Our missionaries have taken 
them under their pastoral care as probationers for mem- 
bership in oiir Church, and are engaged in instructing 


them in the doctrine and duties of our holy religion, though 
the various duties of the missionaries prevent them from 
devoting sufficient time for the instruction of these inquirers 
after truth. But the Lord hath mercifully provided help- 
ers, in the conversion of several of the interpreters and a 
majority of the chiefs of the nation. The interpreters, 
feeling themselves the force of divine truth, and entering 
more readily into the plan of the gospel, are much more 
efficient organs for communicating instruction to the In- 
dians. Some of these chiefs are men of sound judgment, 
and strong, penetrating minds ; and having been more par- 
ticularly instructed, have made great proficiency in the 
knowledge of God and of divine truths ; and being very 
zealous, they render important assistance in the good 
work. The regularity of conduct, the solemnity and de- 
votion of this people, in time of divine service, of which I 
witnessed a pleasing example, is rarely exceeded in our 
own worshiping assemblies. 

" To the labors and influence of these great men, the 
chiefs, may also in some degree be attributed the good 
conduct of the children in school. Three of the chiefs 
officiate in the school as a committee to preserve good or- 
der and obedience among the children. I am told that 
Between-the-logs, the principal speaker, has lectured the 
school children in a very able and impressive manner, on 
the design and benefit of the school, attention to their stu- 
dies, and obedience to their teachers. This excellent man 
is also a very zealous and a useful preacher of righteous- 
ness. He has, in conjunction with others of the tribe, 
lately visited a neighboring nation, and met with encou- 

" On the third day after our arrival we dined with Be- 
tween-the-logs and about twenty of their principal men, six 
of whom were chiefs and three interpreters, and were very 
agTeeably and comfortably entertained. After dinner we 

234 A HISTORY OF THE [1823. 

were all comfortably seated, a few of us on benches, the 
rest on the grass, under a pleasant grove of shady oaks, 
and spent about two hours in council. I requested them 
to give us their views of the state of the school ; to inform 
us, without reserve, of any objections they might have to 
the order and management thereof, and to suggest any 
alteration they might wish. I also desired to know how 
their nation liked our religion, and how those who had 
embraced it were prospering. 

" Their reply was appropriate, impressive, and dignified, 
embracing distinctly every particular inquiry, and in the 
order they were proposed to them. The substance. of 
their reply was, that they thought the school was in a 
good state and very prosperous ; were perfectly satisfied 
with its order and management, pleased with the superin- 
tendent and teachers, and gratified with the improvement 
of the children. It was their anxious wish for its perma- 
nence and success. They gave a pleasing account of 
those who had embraced religion, as to their moral con- 
duct and inoffensive behavior, and attention to their reli- 
gious duties. They heartily approved of the religion they 
had embraced, and were highly pleased with the great 
and eflfectual reformation which had taken place among 

" In the close they expressed the high obligations they 
were under to all their kind friends and benefactors, and 
in a very respectful and feeling manner thanked their 
visitors, and the superintendent and teachers, for their kind 
attention to themselves and to their children; and con- 
cluded with a devout wish for the prosperity and eternal 
happiness of them and all their kind friends. It was an 
affecting scene, and tears bespoke their sincerity. 

" To this school there are Indian children sent from 
Canada. Others which were lately sent were detained 
and taken into another school, at the rapids of Maumee, 


under the direction of the Presbyterians. An apology was 
written by the superintendent thereof to ours, stating that 
the detention was made on the presumption that our school 
was full, &c. 

" When we reflect upon the state of the Wyandots, 
compared with their former savage condition, we may 
surely exclaim, ' What hath God wrought !' ' The parched 
ground hath become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of 
water ; the wilderness and the solitary place is made glad, 
and the desert blossoms as the rose.' The marks of a 
genuine work of grace among these sons of the forest ac- 
cord so perfectly with the history of the great revivals of 
religion in all ages of the Church, that no doubt remains 
of its being the work of God. 

" That a great and effectual door is opened on our fron- 
tier for the preaching of the gospel to the Indian nations 
which border thereon, and that we are providentially called 
to the work, I have no doubt. The only question is, Are 
we prepared to obey the call ? The success of our mis- 
sionary labors does not depend on the interference of mi- 
raculous power, as in the case of the apostles, but on the 
ordinary operations and influences of the Holy Spirit, 
through the instrumentality of a gospel ministry, supported 
by the liberality of a generous people. 

" We have lately received an invitation from a distin- 
guished officer of the government to extend our missionary 
labors to a distant nation of Indians. A gentleman of this 
state who has visited New-Orleans has taken a deep inte- 
rest in its favor ; and from the great increase of population 
from other states, and the great probability of doing good 
at least among them, he urges another attempt. And from 
his influence, his ability, and disposition to minister to its 
support, we entertain a hope of success. 

" From a general view of our missions, and of what the 
Lord is doing by us, we certainly have abimdant cause to 


236 A HISTORY OF THE [1823. 

• thank God and take courage,' and to persevere faithfully 
and diligently in the great work, looking to the great Head 
of the Church, that he may bless our labors and crown 
them with success. 

"Yours in the bonds of the gospel of peace." 

Nor is the following account less interesting and illus- 
trative of the power of gospel truth. It is from the pen 
of the Rev. G. R. Jones, who was present and witnessed 
tlie ceremony wliich lie describes in the following 
words : — 

" At our late Ohio annual conference, held in Urbana, 
there were several of the red, and one or two of the colored 
brethren present, from the Wyandot mission at Upper San- 
dusky, Several interviews took place between our gene- 
ral superintendents and them, during the sitting of the 
conference, at Bishop M'Kendree's room, at one of which 
I was present part of the time. 

" A few friends were invited to be present at this inter- 
view. As breaking bread together has been a token of 
hospitality and friendship among most nations, a cup of tea 
was prepared by the family, and at a suitable time they 
were waited on with it. Bishop M'Kendree, without any 
pre^^ous arrangement or design, appears to have been 
made a kind of master of ceremonies — he was waited on 
first. The sagacity of the red brethren was quite observa- 
ble ; they kept their eye on him, and conformed in every 
particular. Jonathan, a man of color, (who has served 
the mission from the beginning as an interpreter, and who, 
while engaged in this work, became convinced of sin, and 
happily converted to God,) was one of the company ; he 
modestly declined partaking with them, but, being press- 
ingly solicited by Bishop M'Kendree, yielded. After the 
repast was over, the red brethren joined in singing several 
hymns in their own tongue, during which a number in the 


house within hearing crowded into the room, until there 
might have been as many as forty present \ Mononcue (a 
chief) rose, and, approaching Bishop M'Kendree respect- 
fully, held out the hand of friendship, which was cordially 
received, and a warm embrace took place ; this appears to 
have taken off all restraint. Between-the-logs (another 
chief) followed his example, and they proceeded round to 
all in the room, while sighs and tears witnessed the feel- 
ings of most who were present ; but they were sighs of 
gratitude and astonishment, and tears of joy. The spirit 
of hostile foes in the field of battle was lost in the spirit 
of harmony and Christian love, which appeared to fill the 
room. I have witnessed few scenes which earned stronger 
conviction to my heart of the truth and excellence of the 
religion of the meek and humble Jesus. I was ready to 
cry out and say, ' What hath the Lord wrought !' 

" A worthy gentleman, high in office and respectability, 
had received an invitation, and was present at the inter- 
view. It seems he had imbibed an opinion, which is per- 
haps prevalent among politicians, that it is irapTacticablc 
to Christianize the aborigines of our country. He was 
placed in a part of the room farthest from the door. When 
the chiefs approached him all his unbelief appears to have 
given way, his arms were open to give the friendly em- 
brace, while the flowing tear bore witness to a reciprocity 
of feeling. He was heard to exclaim, a day or two after- 
ward, ' I am fully converted !' At the close of the singing 
by the red brethren Bishop Roberts made a few appropri- 
ate remarks, and we all joined him in singing, at the close 
of which, from the fulness of his heart, he offered up a 
fervent prayer. We again joined in singing, and one of 
the chiefs, (Between-the-logs,) being called on, prayed 
in a very feeling manner, while every heart appeared to 
respond the hearty amen ! The meeting was then drawn 
to a close," 


238 A HISTORY OF THE [1823. 

The mission now contained one hundred and fifty- 
four members of the Church and sixty scholars, who 
were taught letters and the duties of domestic life. 

This year Mr. Finley, in company with some of the 
converted chiefs and an interpreter, set off on a visit to 
the Chippeways, on the Saganaw river, with a view, if 
practicable, to establish a mission among them. They 
at length arrived at the Wyandot reservation, on the 
Huron river, where they were cordially received and 
entertained by a white man called Honnes, who had 
lived with the Indians for many years, having been 
taken a prisoner when quite a lad. He was now sup- 
posed to be not less than one hundred years of age, 
could remember nothing of his parentage, nor of his 
days previous to his captivity, only that he was called 
Honiies. He was now much crippled and nearly blind, 
but was very intelligent and communicative. He sat 
upon a deer-skin, and, through an interpreter — for he 
had lost all knowledge of his vernacular language — he 
addressed our missionaries in the following manner : — 
" My children, you are welcome to my cabin ; and I 
now thank the Great Spirit that he has provided a way 
for us to meet together in this world. I thank him for 
all his mercies to me. He has fed me all my life. He 
has saved me in the field of blood, and has lifted up my 
head when I have been sick, and, like a kind father, 
has protected and provided for me." These affecting 
remarks from this patriarch of the woods were listened 
to with great attention and respect, being interrupted 
now and then, by those Indians who were present, by 
the expression, tough, which signifies, all true, and 
then the pipe of peace was lighted, passed around the 
company, and returned to the aged sire. This cere- 


mony being ended, Mr. Finley informed him that, hav- 
ing often heard of him, he had come some distance out 
of his way to see him, and then proceeded to explain to 
him the gospel of Jesus Christ. The tears which 
coursed down his withered cheeks, while he listened 
with solemn attention to the words of truth, bespoke the 
deep feeling of his heart, and the Uvely interest which 
he took in the subject. The discourse being closed, he 
took Mr. Finley by the hand, and, calHng for blessings 
on him and his associates, said, " I have been praying 
for many years that God might send some hght to this 

After hearing, the next day, some historical anec- 
dotes of the Wyandots from this aged man, who had 
been for so many years shut out from civilized life and 
immured in the dungeon of heathenism, Mr. Finley 
bade him an affectionate adieu, and continued his jour- 
ney in search of other lost sheep of the house of Israel. 
These men of the woods, however, were not forgotten 
by the Christian missionaries, but were sought out and 
provided with the means of salvation, the benefits of 
which some of them received. Of the destiny of Honnes, 
whose simple story is so affecting, I have not been in- 
formed, but trust the God of all the famihes of the earth 
did not forget him in his lonely retreat, nor reflise his 
prayers for more light to the nation who had adopted 
him as a brother. He seemed, indeed, Hke the Nestor 
of his tribe, and to be preserved to this good old age to 
welcome the harbingers of peace and good-will to the 
borders of his land and nation. 

For that abandoned class of females who have been 
seduced from the paths of virtue by the wiles of the 
other sex, many ef!'orts had been made by the pious 


240 A HISTORY OF THE [1823. 

and benevolent in the city of New- York, as well as in 
other places where this destructive vice had become so 
predominant, but witliout any permanent e fleet. It 
seems, indeed, that among all the vices wiiich infect 
mankind, this, when its corrupting sway has been once 
permitted to gain an ascendency, is the most inveterate, 
and of course the most difiicult to eradicate. Not, how* 
ever, entirely despairing of success in attempting to 
effect a reformation even among these unhappy subjects 
of seduction, a mission was undertaken this year for 
their special benefit, and the Rev. Samuel D. Fergu- 
son was appointed to its charge. Though he labored 
indefatigably, in conjunction with some local preachers 
and cxhorters who volunteered their services to aid him, 
and some good impressions were made upon a few, yet 
they were soon effaced, and they were compelled, after 
using every exertion to accomphsh their object, to aban- 
don their enterprise in despair ; and though subsequent 
efforts have been more successful in a few instances in 
which reformations ha,ve been effected, it would seem 
that more powerful means must be resorted to before 
this soul-destroying vice can be banished from the 

In consequence of this failure in the primary object 
of the mission, the missionary, in the latter part of the 
year, turned his attention to some destitute portions in 
the west sections of Long Island, where he was more 
successful. Here he formed a regular circuit, and raised 
two classes of fifty-two members, which have continued 
to flourish, less or more, to the present time. 

As it was one object of our missionaiy societies to 
supply destitute places in the older settlements where 
the people were either unwilling or unable to support 


the institutions of religion, some such were either par- 
tially assisted from their funds or wholly supported for 
a season, as the case might be. Among others may 
be mentioned, as showing the good effects of .this policy, 
the town of New-Brunswick, in the state of New- Jersey, 
This, though an old settled place, had been a barren 
soil for Methodism. Our preachers had long preached 
there occasionally to a feeble few, but under great dis- 
couragements. In 1821 the Rev. Charles Pittman was 
gent there as a missionary, under the patronage of the 
Philadelphia Conference Missionary Society, and again 
in 1822. He met w4th much opposition, owing to the 
deep-rooted prejudices cherished against the peculiari- 
ties of Methodism. His congregation was small, not 
amounting to more than thirty for some weeks during 
the first year of his ministry. He and the little flock, 
however, persevered in the strength of faith and prayer 
until a revival of religion commenced, which terminated 
in the conversion of quite a number of souls, so that in 
the month of February of this year they numbered 
about one hundred communicants. From that time 
the work has steadily advanced, and we have now a 
flourishing society and a commodious house of worship 
ill that place. 

In many other places, too numerous to mention, the 
work of God prevailed in the older circuits and stations. 
On the New^-Bedford circuit, Mass., where a good work 
had been progressing for some time, in the month of 
August of this year it had extended for twenty miles, so 
that an entire new circuit had been formed, large 
enough to employ three preachers. 

The camp meetings continued to be held with profit 
to the souls of the people. At one held in the Ogeechee 

Vol. III.-ll 

242 A HlStORY OF THE [1823. 

district, in the state of Georgia, not less than one hun- 
dred white and upward of forty colored people were 
made partakers of the grace of life. At one held in 
the same ♦place last year a work of God commenced 
among the students of Tabernacle Academy, a hterary 
institution under our care, and the reformation was ad- 
vancing among the students this year most encou- 

At five camp meetings held in the Baltimore district 
for this year the Lord poured out his Spirit, and about 
one hundred and twenty, white and colored, professed 
to find the pearl of great price, among whom were two 
females, one eighty and the other sixty years of age. 
The latter w\is a (Quakeress, whose charming simplicity 
of manners and conversation, after her conversion, re- 
minded one of the primitive days of Christianity. Such 
evidences of the power of grace were not unUke the 
Pentecostal showers of divine mercy, and they tended 
mightily to strengthen the faith of God's people, and to 
baffle the speculations of an infidel philosophy. 

We have already seen that the cause of education 
began to engage the attention of some of the annual 
conferences, and that two academies had been put in 
operation. This year I find on the Minutes of the 
Kentucky conference that John P. Flnley was ap- 
pointed to the charge of Augusta College^ though I 
believe the college edifice w^as not erected until 1825. 
Our brethren, therefore, west of the mountains have 
the honor of founding the first college in the United 
States under the patronage of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church ; and I am happy to say that this institution 
has gone on prospering, though sometimes depressed 
from pecuniary embarrassments, shedding on that region 


of country the blessings of science and religion, greatly 
to the joy of its friends and patrons. 

Forty-four preachers were located, forty-seven re- 
turned supernumerary, and fifty-nine superannuated, 
and nine had died during the past year. These were, 
Philip Kennerly^ Walter Griffith^ John Dix, S^a- 
muel Davis, William Wright^ William Ross, Alon- 
son Gifford, James Griggs Peal, and William Perm 

A strong testimony is given in favor of these devoted 
men of God, that in their last days they maintained 
their integrity, triumphing in the hour of dissolution, 
and died in hope of the glory of God. 

Dr. Chandler* was appointed the presiding elder on 
the Delaware district in 1801, about the time the camp 
meetings were introduced into that part of the country, 
and his talents were peculiarly adapted to promote their 
objects. His zeal in the cause of Christ was ardent, 
and his talents as a preacher were more than ordinary, 
and often the most astonishing effects were produced 
under his powerful appeals to the consciences of his 
hearers. In consequence of his devotion to the cause, 
and the character of his talents, he exerted a command- 
ing influence upon his district, winning the affections 
and inspiring the confidence of the people committed to 
his charge. The ardency of his zeal and intensity of 
his labors so exhausted his physical strength, that in 
1808 he was returned superannuated. In 1813 he 
received a location ; but his warm attachments to his 
brethren in the traveling ministry led him back to the 
Philadelphia conference in May, 1822, where he re- 

* He was educated for a physician. 

244 A HISTORY OF THE [1823. 

mained in the relation of a superannuated preacher 
until his death. 

Wliile preaching the gospel of the Son of God in the 
Ebenezer church, in the city of Philadelpliia, on the 
first sabbath of May, 1820, lie was suddenly prostrated 
by a paralytic stroke in liis left side. Though he par- 
tially recovered from this, yet while at the island of St. 
Eustatia, whither he had gone for the l>enefit of his 
health, a second stroke deprived hiin of the use of his 
right side also, which took from him and his friends all 
hope of his recovery. He returned home, however, and 
lingered for about twelve weeks, when he exchanged 
a world of labor and suffering for a world of rest and 
reward. His expressions upon his death-bed were no 
less consolatory to his friends than they were satisfac- 
tory to himself. On being told by a friend that it was 
Sunday, he replied, " Go then to the meeting, and tell 
them that I am dying, shouting the praises of God !" 
Then, turning to his wife, he said, '• My dear Mary, 
open the window, and let me proclaim to the people in 
the streets the goodness of God !" 

The following testimony is from an affectionate bro- 
ther, a physician, who attended him much in his last 
sickness : — 

" I visited Dr. Chandler daily during his last illness, 
which was of long continuance. His disease was an al- 
most universal paralysis. The attack had at first been 
confined to one side, and after a partial recovery only of 
that side, the other became affected in like manner with 
the first. His mind as well as his body felt the efl!(ects of 
the disease, which at times caused a considerable de- 
rangement of intellect : but notwithstanding the confusion 
that was apparent in his mental operations, his constant 


theme was his God and the salvation of his soul ; and on 
these subjects it was truly surprising to hear him converse. 
Although Dr. Chandler seemed incapable of rational re- 
flection on other subjects, yet on that of religion, at inter- 
vals, he never conversed with more fluency, correctness, 
and feeling at any period of his life. He appeared to be 
exceedingly jealous of himself, and occasionally laboring 
under fear lest he might have deceived himself, and that 
he should finally become a cast-away ; but of these appre- 
hensions he was generally relieved whenever we ap- 
proached a throne of grace, which we were in the habit 
of doing on almost every visit. In this state he remained 
until within a few days of his death, when the Lord was 
graciously pleased, in a most extraordinary manner, to 
pour out his Spirit upon his servant ; and although his 
body was fast sinking, his mind, for two days, was restored 
to perfect vigor and correctness. During this time he 
seemed to be in the borders of the heavenly inheritance. 
He spoke of the glories, the joys, and the inhabitants of 
heaven as though he had been in the midst of them. He 
remarked to me, at the time, that he felt that his soul had 
begun to dissolve its connection with the body ; and that 
there was a freedom, a clearness, and ease in its views 
and operations that was entirely new to him, and that he 
had never before formed a conception of — ' in fact,' said 
he, ' I know not whether I am in the body or out of it.' 
Soon after this he sunk into a stupor, in which he remained 
to the last. On the sabbath following his funeral sermon 
was preached, by the author of these lines, to a large and 
deeply affected congregation, from these fine words of the 
apostle : But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren^ 
concerning them that are asleep^ and that ye sorrow not even 
as others which have no hopeP 

The account of his death concludes in the following 
words : — 


246 A HISTORY OF THE [1823. 

" As a Christian, and as a Christian minister, W. P. 
Chandler was a man of no ordinary grade. In his deport- 
ment, dignity and humility, fervor and gentleness, plain- 
ness and brotherly kindness, with uniform piety, were 
strikingly exemplified. In the pulpit his soul was in his 
eloquence, his Saviour was his theme, and the divine unc- 
tion that rested upon him, and the evangelical energy of 
his sermons, gave a success to his labors that has been 
exceeded by few. He studied to show himself approved 
unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly 
dividing the word of truth : and how good a proficient he 
was in this study, thousands who were blessed under his 
ministry can heartily testify, many of whom are living 
witnesses of the happy effects of his labors, while he is 
now reaping his eternal reward." 

Among others who departed to another world this 
year was JoJui Steward, who first carried the gospel to 
the Wyandot Indians. Of his early hfe we have seen 
something in our account of the Wyandot mission. He 
seems to have been peculiarly fitted for his work. Sin- 
cere, simple-hearted, much devoted to the cause in 
which he had engaged, he adapted himself with a ready 
and willing mind to the condition and circumstances 
of those people, won their confidence and affection by 
his honest simphcity, and, by the blessing of God on 
his exertions, conducted them away from the absurdi- 
ties of heathenism by the charms of gospel truth and 

His entire devotion to the interests of the mission, his 
intense application to meet its spiritual wants, and the 
privations to which he was subjected in his early resi- 
dence among them, so wore upon his constitution, that 
in the course of this year it becaine manifest that his 


health was fast declining, and that the days of his pil- 
grimage were near their end. 

When so exhausted in his physical powers as to be 
unable to labor for his support, his temporal wants were 
provided for by his friends, about fifty acres of land, on 
which was built a cabin for his accommodation, being 
secured to him in fee-simple. Here he lived the re- 
mainder of his days, and on his demise the property was 
inherited by his brother. In this place, loved and 
honored by those who had been benefited by his evan- 
gelical labors, he lingered along the shores of mortality 
until December the 17th, 1823, when he fell asleep in 
Jesus, in the thirty-seventh year of his age, and the 
seventh of his labors in the missionary field. On his 
death-bed he gave the most consoling evidence of his 
faith in Christ and hope of immortality, exhorting his 
affectionate wife to faithfulness to her Lord and Master, 
and testifying with his latest breath to the goodness of 

In the contemplation of such a man, we cannot but 
admire the wisdom of God in the selection of means to 
accomplish his designs of mercy toward the outcasts of 
men. Born in humble life, destitute of the advantages 
of education, unauthorized and unprotected by any 
body of Christians when he first entered upon his en- 
terprise, influenced solely by the impulses of his own 
mind, produced, as he believed, and as the event proved, 
by the dictates of the Holy Spirit, Steward sets off on an 
errand of mercy to the wandering savages of the wil- 
derness. Here he arrives, a stranger among a strange 
people, and opens his mission by a simple narration of 
the experience of divine grace upon his heart, and of 
Ihe motives which prompted him to forsake home and 


248 A HISTORY OF THE [1823. 

kindred, and devote himself to their spiritual interests 
Having gained their attention, he explains to them, in 
the simplest language of truth, the fundamental doc- 
trines of Jesus Christ, contrasting them with the ab- 
surdities of heathenism and the mummeries of a cor- 
rupted form of Christianity.* No sooner does the word 
take effect, than a violent opposition arises against this 
humble and unpretending servant of Jesus Christ, 
which he meets w ith Christian courage, and bears with 
the fortitude of a well-trained soldier of the cross. By 
the strength of God resting upon him, he manfully 
buffets the storms of persecution which raged around 
him, and calmly guides his httle bark over the threat 
ening billows until it is conducted into a harbor of 
peace and safety. Seeking for the wisdom that cometh 
from above, he is enabled to unravel the sophistry of 
error, to refute the calumnies of falsehood, to silence the 
cavilings of captious witlings, and to establish firmly 
the truth as it is in Jesus. Did not God " choose the 
weak things of the world to confound the things w hich 
are mighty ?" 

Who does not look on with a trembling anxiety for 
the result, while the umpire was deliberating upon his 
fate, at that memorable time when he submitted his 
Bible and Hymn Book to the inspection of Mr. Walker, 
that he might determine whether or not they were ge- 
nuine ! And who can forbear participating in the 
general shout of exultation when the momentous ques- 
tion was decided in his favor ! During these anxious 
moments the heart of Steward must have beat high 
amidst hopes and fears, while the fate of his mission 

* The Wyandots had been taught, to some extent, the 
religion of the Roman Catholics. 


apparently hung poised upon the decision of a question 
which involved the dearest interests of the nation for 
whose welfare he had risked his all ! But the God whom 
he served pleaded his cause, silenced the clamor of his 
enemies, disappointed the machinations of the wicked, 
and gave a signal triumph to the virtues of honesty, 
simplicity, and godly sincerity.* In this triumph was 

* That the reader may understand the force of this allu- 
sion, the following incident is related. As Steward fearlessly 
denounced the absurdities of the Romish Church, and ap- 
pealed to the Bible in support of his affirmations, those unin- 
formed natives who had been instructed by Roman priests 
concluded that there must be a discrepance between his Bi- 
ble and the one used by the priests. To decide this question 
it was mutually agreed by the parties to submit it to Mr. 
"Walker, the sub-agent. On a day appointed for the exami- 
nation, Steward and the adverse chiefs appeared before the 
chosen arbiter. A profound silence reigned among the nu- 
merous spectators who had assembled to witness the scene. 
Mr. Walker carefully compared the two Bibles, and exa- 
mined the hymns, each party looking on with intense anxi- 
ety for the result. At length the examination closed, and 
Mr. Walker declared to the assembly that the Bible used 
by Steward was genuine, and that the hymns breathed the 
spirit of true religion. During the whole transaction Stew- 
ard sat with great tranquillity, eyeing the assembly with an 
affectionate solicitude, conscious that innocence and truth 
would gain the victory — and when it was declared, the coun- 
tenances of the Christian party beamed with joy, and their 
souls exulted in God their Saviour — while their opposers 
stood rebuked and confounded. 

Though the assembly before whom Steward appeared in 
Upper Sandusky was less august and imposing than the one 
before whom Luther appeared, at the Diet of Worms, yet the 
question to be decided at the former was no less momentous 
to the interests of Steward and his party than the one which 
hung suspended during the admirable address of Luther was 
to him and his party. While, therefore, we may contrast in 
our minds the two personages who had submitted their cause 
11* 3 

250 A HISTORY OF THE [1823. 

fulfilled the inspired and inspiring declaration, "One 
shall chase a thousand, and two shall put ten thousand 
to flight." 

to the decisions of others, we may not unprofilably compare 
them as behig analogous in their consequences to their re- 
spective nations. Luther, towering above his fellows in 
learning, in eloquence, in piety, and in evangelical know- 
ledge, was pleading the cause of truth before one of the most 
august assemblies ever convened to decide the fate of an in- 
dividual. Steward, unlettered, rude in speech, limited in 
knowledge, though humble and devout, was silently looking 
on while his fate hung suspended upon the decision of a sin- 
gle man. How striking the contrast ! And yet how analo- 
gous the cause and its results ! Luther, surrounded by 
princes, nobles, judges, bishops, and priests, awed by the 
presence of the emperor of all Germany and Spain combined, 
in one of the most magnificent cathedrals in the kingdom, 
stood firm in the strength of his God, and fearlessly advocated 
his cause in the face of that imposing array of civil and ec- 
clesiastical authority which was leagued against him. Stew- 
ard, on the contrary, accompanied by a few converted 
Indians, stood in the presence of the chiefs of the nation, 
most of whom had declared themselves adverse to his doc- 
trines and measures, surrounded by an assemblage of rude 
barbarians in the rough cabin of an American Indian 1 Those 
Germans, however, who had embraced the principles of the 
Reformation were not more interested in the fate of Luther, 
than the trembling Indians who liad embraced Christianity 
were for the result of the deliberations of Mr. Walker. 

But while Luther and his doctrines were condemned by a 
decree of the Diet of Worms, Steward was acquitted by the 
decision of the umpire to whom the question had been sub- 
milted. Luther, therefore, had to act in opposition to the 
highest authority of the empire, with the fulminating sen- 
tence of the pope ringing in his ears, while Steward went 
forth under the protection of the chief council of the nation, 
patronized by the Church of his choice, preaching Jesus and 
him crucified. Was not God's hand alike visible in each 
case ? Nor was Steward more contemptible in the eyes of 
the pagan chieftains than Luther was in the estimation of the 


In all the subsequent conduct of Steward we behold 
a combination of those excellences which the Spirit of 
God alone can ingraft and nourish in the human heart. 
" The excellency of the power," therefore, which was 
conspicuous in the life and conduct of Steward, reflected 
the rays of Him who had most evidently made him " a 
chosen vessel to bear his name unto the Gentiles" in 
the American wilds. Humble and unpretending as he 
was, his name will ever be associated with those men 
of God who had the high honor of first carrying the 
light of divine truth to the darkened tribes of our forests. 
And this record is made as a just tribute of respect to 
the memory of one whom God delighted to honor as 
the evangelical pioneer to the Methodist Episcopal 
Church in her career of usefulness among the long 
neglected children of our own wide domain. 
Number of Church members. 

Whites. Colored. Total. Preachers. 

This year 267,618 44,922 312,540 1,226 
Last year 252,645 44,377 297,022 1,106 

Increase 14,973 545 15,518* 120 

pope and his obsequious cardinals and bishops. And per- 
haps the time may come when the name of John Steward, 
as humble as were his claims in his lifetime, shall be held in 
as high estimation by the descendants of the converted In- 
dians, as is that of Martin Luther by the church which bears 
his name. They both had faults, because they were both 
human beings ; but let their faults be buried beneath the 
same turf which hides their mouldering bodies from human 
view, while their spirits, alike indebted to the blood of the 
Lamb for their deliverance from the slavery of sin, shall 
shine amidst the heavens for ever and ever. 

* There is an error in the printed Minutes of not less than 
610, there being that number more in the real increase than 
is given in the Minutes. 


252 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 


General Conference of 1824. 

1824. This conference assembled, on the first day of 
May, in the city of Baltimore. Bishops M'Kendree, 
George, and Roberts were present, and the former 
opened the conference by reading a portion of the Holy 
Scriptures, singing, and prayer. The following dele- 
gates presented the certificates of their election by the 
several annual conferences : — 

New-York Conference. 
Freeborn Garrettson, John B. Straiten, 

Samuel Merwin, Henry Stead, 

Nathan Bangs, Marvin Richardson, 

Eben Smith, Stephen Martindale, 

Daniel Ostrander, Phineas Rice, 

Ebenezer Washburn, Arnold Scholefield, 

Peter P. Sandford, Laban Clark, 

Samuel Luckey, William Ross. 

New-England Conference. 
George Pickering, Wilbur Fisk, 

Elijah Hedding, Elisha Streeter, 

Timothy Merritt, Ebenezer Blake, 

Enoch Mudge, Edward Hyde, 

Joseph A. Merrill, Eleazar Wells, 

David Kilboum, John W. Hardy, 

John Lindsey, Benjamin R. Hoyt. 

Genesee Conference. 
Fitch Reed, George Peck, 

Joseph Baker, Israel Chamberlain, 

Wyatt Chamberlain, George W. Densmoor, 



John p. Alverson, Isaac B. Smith, 

James Hall, Loring Grant, 

Gideon Lanning, Benjamin G. Paddock. 

Ohio Conference. 
Charles Elliott, Jacob Young, 

John F. Wright, John Sale, 

Greenbury R. Jones, James Quhm, 

Martin Ruter, John Waterman, 

Charles Waddel, Russel Bigelow, 

James B. Finley, David Young, 

John Strange. 

Kentucky Conference. 
Jonathan Stamper, Peter Cartwright, 

Thomas A. Morris, Richard Corwine, 

Charles HoUiday, George M'Nelly, 

John Brown, Marcus Lindsay. 

Missouri Conference. 
William Beauchamp, Samuel H. Thompson, 

David Sharp, John Scripps, 

Jesse Walker. 

Tennessee Conference. 
Hartwell H. Brown, George Ekin, 

Thomas Stringfield, Joshua W. Kilpatrick, 

William M'Mahon, John Tevis, 

Robert Paine, Thomas L. Douglass, 

Thomas Madden. 

Mississippi Conference. 
Alexander Sale, William Winans, 

Daniel De Vinne. 
South Carolina Conference. 
Lewis Myers, William Capers, 

Nicholas Talley, James O. Andrew, 

Samuel K. Hodges, Samuel Dunwody, 

James Norton, William M. Kennedy, 


254 A HISTORY or THE fl824 

Lovick Pierce, Joseph Travis, 

Henry Bass. 

Virginia Conference. 
Caleb Leach, Henry Holmes, 

Lewis Skidmore, Ethelbert Drake, 

Hezekiah G. Leigh, John Lattimore, 

Benjamin Devaney, William Compton, 

John C. Ballew. 

Baltimore Conference. 
Andrew Hemphill, Henry Smith, 

James M'Cann, Richard Tydings, 

Daniel Hitt, Nelson Reed, 

Joshua Soule, Robert Burch, 

Stephen G. Roszel, John Thomas, 

Joseph Frye, Christopher Frye, 

John Bear. 

Philadelphia Conference. 
Thomas Ware, John Smith, 

Lawrence Lawrenson, Jacob Moore, 

Manning Force, John Potts, 

Thomas Neal, Joseph Rusling, 

Lawrence M'Combs, Charles Pittman, 

Ezekiel Cooper, Alvard White, 

James Smith. 

From the time that Dr. Coke had last visited us, in 
1804, no personal intercourse had been kept up between 
the European and American connections, though 
friendly epistolary salutations had been exchanged. In 
1820; as we have before seen, a delegate, Dr. Emory, 
had been sent to the Wesleyan conference in England, 
and had borne with him a request that a personal in- 
tercourse might be established, at such times as should 
be mutually agreeable. In conformity to this request 


our British brethren sent the Rev. Richard Reece as a 
representative to this General Conference, accompanied 
by the Rev. John Hannah as his ministerial companion. 
As these respected brethren had arrived in the city of 
New- York in the month of March, they had spent the 
intervening time in visiting Boston, Lynn, New-Haven, 
Philadelphia, and other places, where they had en- 
deared themselves to the people by their Christian and 
ministerial deportment, as well as by their evangelical 
labors in the pulpit, and on the platform at several of 
our anniversaries. 

On the second day of the conference they were in- 
troduced by Bishop M'Kendree, when Mr. Reece pre- 
sented the following address from the Wesleyan Me- 
thodist conference, which was read by the secretary, Dr. 
Emory : — 

" To the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church assembled at Baltimore, in the United States 
of America. 

" Dear Brethren : — The time has arrived which calls 
us, in pursuance of a resolution unanimously passed in the 
conference of 1820, held in Liverpool, to commission a 
deputation from our body, to attend your ensuing General 
Conference, to convey to you the sentiments of our fra- 
ternal regard and affectionate attachment, and to recipro- 
cate that kind and friendly office which, on your part, was 
performed by the visit of one of your esteemed ministers, 
the Rev. John Emory. 

" The increased interest in your spiritual welfare which 
the establishment of this mode of direct and official com- 
munication between the two great bodies of Methodists 
has naturally excited in us, and reciprocally, we believe, 
in you, is to us the first proof of its beneficial tendency, 


256 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

and a cheering indication of its future advantages. For 
why should the ocean entirely sever the branches of the 
same family, or distance of place, and distinct scenes of 
labor, wholly prevent that interchange of the sympathies 
of a special spiritual relationship which cannot but be felt 
by those who, under God, owe their origin to the labors 
of the same apostolic man, bear testimony to the same 
great truths before the world, and whose efforts to spread 
the savor of the knowledge of Christ, on our part, through 
the British empire, and on yours through the population 
of those rising states which have derived their language, 
their science, and their Protestantism from the same com- 
mon source, Almighty God has deigned so abundantly to 
bless ? 

" We received with heart-felt joy the messenger of your 
churches, the Rev. John Emory, bearing the grateful news 
of the progress of the work of God in your societies, and 
were refreshed by the expressions of your charity. We 
now commit the same charge to the faithful and beloved 
brethren whom we have appointed to salute you in the 
Lord, that nothing may be wanting on our part to strengthen 
the bond of brotherly love, and to call forth mutual and 
united prayers for each other's welfare, by a mutual know- 
ledge of each other's state. 

" We are on the point of closing the sittings of the pre- 
sent conference, in which the perfect harmony of the 
brethren assembled has afforded matter for the most devout 
and grateful acknowledgments to God, both as it is the 
indication and the result of that entire affection and unity 
which exist among our societies throughout the united 
kingdom. Through the mercy of God, we have rest on 
every side ; the discipline we received from our venerable 
founder is still enforced with unabated zeal, and, under a 
conviction of its agreement with the word of God, cheer- 
fully observed ; the value of those apostolic doctrines 


which distinguish us in the old and new world was never, 
we believe, more powerfully felt among us, and never 
were they with greater fidelity exhibited in out public 
ministry ; and, as a crownhig blessing, numbers are yearly 
added to us and to the Lord, and the light and influence 
of the gospel are yearly extending, by the divine blessing 
upon the labors of the brethren, into the still dark and 
uncultivated parts of our beloved country. * Not unto us, 
O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy 
mercy and for thy truth's sake.' 

" You will also, dear brethren, partake of our joy in 
the success with which it has pleased God to attend the 
labors of our brethren in our different foreign missions. 

" The leading particulars of their state and prospects 
you will have learned from our Magazine and annual re- 
ports, and it will therefore suffice to state, that, in this 
department of the work of God committed to our charge, 
upward of one hundred and fifty of our preachers are em- 
ployed ; and that the zeal and liberality with which our 
people and the friends of religion generally co-operate 
with us in this hallowed work, answer to every call, and 
seem only roused to greater activity and enlargement as 
the sad condition of the pagan world is by new develop- 
ments displayed before them. In the formation of regular 
missionary societies in your Church, to promote the uni- 
versal establishment of the kingdom of our adorable Sa- 
viour, and ' to make all men see what is the fellowship of 
the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath 
been hid in God,' we have greatly rejoiced ; and in those 
encouraging dawnings of large success among the abori- 
ginal tribes of your native continent, which have cheered 
the early efforts of those devoted men whom you have 
ordained to this blessed service. In addition to the doctrines 
in which we have been instructed, God has in his mercy 


258 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

given to us, as Methodists, a discipline adapted in a very 
special manner to missionary operations, to build up and 
establish infant religious societies among heathen, and to 
call forth in every place a supply of laborers for extending 
the work, and enlarging the cultivated field into the untilled 
and neglected wilderness. In the spirit of our great 
founder under God, who regarded the whole world as his 
parish, let the Methodists of Great Britain and America 
regard the whole world as the field of their evangelical 
labors ; and, mindful of this our high vocation, let us enter 
in at every open door, trusting in God to dispose the 
hearts of our people to provide the means necessary to 
carry our sacred enterprises into effect ; striving together 
in our prayers, that from us the word of the Lord may 
' sound forth to nations and kingdoms of men, of all colors 
and climates, now involved in the ignorance and misery 
of pagan idolatry, and sitting in darkness and the shadow 
of death.' 

" More fully to declare unto you our state, and to be 
witnesses of ' the grace of God in you,' we have appointed, 
and hereby do accredit as our representative to your ap- 
proaching General Conference, the Rev. Richard Reece, 
late president of our conference, and have requested the 
Rev. John Hannah, one of our respected junior preachers, 
to accompany him on this service. ' Beloved in the Lord 
and approved in Christ,' we commit them to the grace of 
God and to your brotherly affection. We earnestly pray 
that your approaching assembly may be under the special 
guidance and benediction of our common Head, and that 
all your deliberations may issue in the lasting union and 
prosperity of your numerous and widely extended socie- 
ties ; that you may increase in faith and love ; and that 
your labors may, year after year, continue to enlarge and 
establish in the western world the kingdom of our Lord 


and Saviour Jesus Christ, ' to Avhom be glory in the church 
throughout all ages, world without end. Amen,' 
" Signed in behalf of the conference, 

" H. MooRE, President. 
''Sheffield, August 11, 1823." 

After the reading of the address, Mr. Reece delivered 
the following : — 

" Mr. President : — The paper which has just been 
read is an expression of the sentiments avowed by the 
British conference, and in which I heartily concur ; — sen- 
timents of affectionate concern for the prosperity and 
advantage of our brethren on this side of the Atlantic. It 
afforded us much satisfaction to receive from you, by your 
excellent deputy, the Rev. John Emory, an overture to 
more frequent intercourse and closer fellowship of bro- 
therly love. Wesleyan Methodism is one everywhere, — 
one in its doctrines, its discipline, its usages. We believe 
it to be the purest, simplest, most efficient form of Chris- 
tianity that the world has known since the primitive days. 
Doubtless it is that which has had the sanction of Almighty 
God, in its rapid and extended success, beyond any other 
in modern times. It commenced, nearly a century ago, 
in the mother country, in one of her universities, with a 
few young men, ' chosen vessels, meet for the Master's 
use.' Then it was the ' cloud little as a human hand ;* 
now it has spread widely, and is still spreading, over both 
hemispheres, while its fertilizing showers are descending 
upon Europe, America, Africa, and Asia, producing fruit 
wherever they fall — the fruit of knowledge and holiness. 
Methodism is our common property. We are alike int®-- 
rested in its preservation and diffusion. It is a sacred 
trust committed to us. It is a heavenly treasure which 
we have to dispense for the benefit of man. Its spirit is 
not sectarian, but catholic, and embraces Christians of 

260 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

every denomination who hold the essential truths of the 
vTospel, and Move our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity.' Your 
brethren in England were never more concerned to preach 
its distinguishing doctrines of justification by faith, the 
direct witness of the Spirit in the hearts of believers, and 
salvation from all sin in this life, with simplicity, fidelity, 
and zeal, than at present ; — never more concerned to en- 
force its discipline with firmness and love, and to ' train 
up' a people in the ' nurture and admonition of the Lord ;' 
— never more careful that it do not deteriorate in their 
hands, but that it be transmitted, pure and entire, to * faith- 
ful men' who shall succeed to their labors : for which 
purpose they are anxious in their instruction and strict in 
their examination of the rising race of preachers, that 
these may be sound in the faith and lovers of our disci- 
pline. Many of them are all we can hope, young men 
whose ' profiting' has ' appeared unto all,' and to whom we 
can commit the deposit without anxiety, believing that 
they will ' obtain mercy of the Lord to be faithful.' 

" The result of this care and pains to preserve a pure 
and effective ministry has been and is seen in the blessing 
of God upon our labors, in an extension of his work through 
every part of our country, where ' great and effectual doors' 
are opening into new places, and the Lord is * adding to 
his church daily such as are saved.' The members of our 
society are also improving in personal holiness and zeal 
for good works. They are more ready to concur with us 
in spreading the gospel abroad among heathen nations, as 
well as in tightening the ' cords' of our discipline at home. 
On the whole, our prospects were never more bright, nor 
had Ave ever more reason to be encouraged. 

" My opportunities of intercourse with you since my 

arrival in this country, together with the satisfaction I have 

had in attending two of your annual conferences, where I 

met with many of my American brethren, render this one 



of the most interesting periods of my life. I have wit- 
nessed the disinterested and laborious zeal which distin- 
guishes your character and conduct. I have seen the fruit 
of your labors in the excellent societies in New-York, 
Boston, Philadelphia, Winchester, and this city. The 
doctrines and discipline of Methodism, when rightly ap- 
plied, do, under the blessing of God, produce a Scriptural 
conversion, and form the genuine Christian character 
everyiohere; and either at home or abroad, I find that a 
Methodist, who lives according to his profession, is a ' fel- 
low-heir' of the same * grace of life.' My prayer is, in 
accordance with the prayers of the body whom I repre- 
sent, that you may go on and prosper, until, as the honored 
instruments of God, you have diffused gospel light and life 
through every part of this vast continent, and every class 
of its interesting population, that the name of our Lord 
Jesus Christ may be everywhere glorified in his disciples. 

After the delivery of these addresses, and adopting 
rules for the government of the deliberations of the 
conference, the following communication was received 
from the bishops, and referred to appropriate com- 
mittees : — 
" To the delegates of the several annual conferences of 

the Methodist Episcopal Church, in General Conference 


" Dear Brethren : — We have thought it advisable, at 
the opening of this General Conference, to communicate 
to you our views in relation to some of the subjects which 
will properly come before you. Assembled as you are 
from various parts of the continent, and having been asso- 
ciated with societies of people not entirely the same in 
manners and customs, it cannot rationally be expected that 
your views on every subject should be uniformly the same. 


262 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

But, after candidly considering and discussing such points 
of interest to the Church as may require your attention 
and decision, we trust you will be able to unite in such 
measures as shall best serve for the prosperity of our Zion 
and the glory of God. 

" During the last four years we have not been favored 
with extraordinary revivals of religion, yet the work of 
God has gradually advanced, and we have had constant 
accessions to the Church, both of ministers and members, 
as well as an increase of circuits and districts. On the 
whole, we are happy to say, that amidst all our difficulties 
and obstructions, our prospects are encouraging, and we 
are permitted to hope that the great Head of the church 
will prosper our way and crown our labors with abundant 

*' Your superintendents have endeavored to do what was 
in their power toward supplying the annual conferences 
with their official services, and have in most instances 
succeeded ; but, owing to a failure of health in some of 
them, and to other uncontrollable circumstances, two cases 
have occurred in which the conferences were under the 
necessity of providing for themselves. And as the present 
health of your superintendents is more likely to decline 
than increase, while their labor will become every year 
more extensive, the subjects of administration, and the 
propriety of increasing the number of superintendents, will 
claim your early attention. 

" In the progress of this work new doors have been 
opened for the spread of the gospel, the borders of our 
Zion have been enlarged, and the number of circuits and 
districts so increased as to render it necessary that there 
should be some alterations in the form of the annual con- 
ferences. The way seems to be prepared for dividing 
some in order to form new ones, and for making some 


changes in the boundaries of others, so as to render them 
more convenient. 

" On the subject of Church government some of our 
friends have entered into various speculations, and it seems 
probable that memorials will be laid before you both from 
local preachers and private members. In order to give 
full satisfaction, as far as possible, on this point, it may be 
expedient to appoint a committee of address, to prepare 
circulars in answer to such memorials as maybe presented. 

" In fixing the boundary lines of the annual conferences, 
it must not be forgotten that a part of our charge lies in 
Canada, beyond the limits of the United States. The 
situation of our brethren in that remote part of the country 
seems to present to view a subject distinct in itself; and 
the most judicious measures to secure their prosperity and 
welfare will claim the exercise of your united counsel and 

" The Book Concern, considered in a moral and pecu- 
niary point of view, is an important establishment in our 
Church, and will be, if proper exertions should be made 
in the circulation of books, not only a source of relief and 
support to our itinerant ministry, but a most effectual me- 
dium of conveying light and knowledge to the thousands 
among whom we labor, and perhaps to multitudes who do 
not attend our preaching. If any improvement can be 
made in its present plan of operation, so as to render it 
more extensively useful than it now is, it is desirable that 
it should be done. 

" In the course of your deliberations, the local district 
conference, the financing system, and the proper instruc- 
tion and education of children, may require some attention, 
as well as several other subjects not necessary now to 

" The importance of supporting the plan of an itinerant 
ministry, and of maintaining union among (mrselves, can- 

364 A HISTORV OF THE [18*24* 

not have escaped your recollection. They are subjects 
involving the vital interests of the Church, and our prayer 
is, that the wisdom of the Most High may guide us in 
such a course as shall be favorable both to the one and to 
the other." 

Among other things which engaged the attention of 
this conference, was the subject of a lay delegation. 
This came up for consideration by the presentation of a 
number of memorials and petitions from local preachers 
and lay members, praying for the General Conference 
to grant them " the right,'' as they termed it, of a voice 
in the legislative department of the Church. The 
committee to whom these documents were referred pre- 
sented the following report, which, after an able and 
full discussion, was adopted by the conference : — 

" Resolved, by the delegates of the several annual con- 
ferences in General Conference assembled, 

" 1. That it is inexpedient to recommend a lay dele- 

" 2. Resolved, &c., That the following circular be sent 
in reply to the petitioners, memorialists, &c. 

" Beloved Brethren : — Several memorials have been 
brought up to the General Conference, proposing to change 
the present order of our Church government. By one or 
more of these it is proposed ' to admit into the amiual con- 
ferences a lay delegate from each circuit and station, and 
into the General Conference an equal delegation of minis- 
ters and lay members:' or, 'to admit a representation of 
local preachers and lay members into the General Confer- 
ence, to be so apportioned with the itinerant ministry as 
to secure an equilibrium of influence in that body :' or, 
' that the General Conference call a convention, to consist 
of representatives from each annual conference, and an 
equal number of representatives chosen bv the members 


of each circuit or station, to form a constitution which 
shall be binding upon each member of our Church :' or, 
* that a representation of the local preachers and the mem- 
bership be introduced into the General Conference,' either 
by electing delegates separately, or that the membership 
be represented by the local ministry, they being elected 
by the united suffrage of the local preachers and lay 

" To these memorials, as well as to others praying the 
continuance of our government in its present form, we have 
given an attentive hearing in full conference, and, after 
much reflection, we reply : — 

" We are glad to be assured that there exists but one 
opinion among all our brethren respecting the importance 
of our itinerant ministry, and that they who desire a 
change, whether of the form of the General Conference 
alone, or of the annual conferences also, are moved to so- 
licit "it rather by their zeal to support the itinerancy than 
for want of attachment to it. They would relieve the 
preachers of the delicacy of fixing the amount of their 
own salaries ; and as in this matter they could act more 
independently, so they would also provide more liberally, 

" We respectfully acknowledge the candor of brethren, 
who, although they intimate that it is unseemly for the 
preachers to determine their own salaries, yet do not pre- 
tend that their allowance is excessive, or that they claim 
a right to demand it. It is true that the deficiency of 
quarterage is so general, in such large proportions, that 
the conference collections and the dividends from the Book 
Concern and chartered fund have never been sufiicient to 
supply it ; and, indeed, the conference stewards usually 
settle with the preachers at a discount of from thirty to 
sixty per cent. 

" But we presume that these facts have been generally 
known ; so that whatever injury may be sustained from 

Vol, 111,-12 

^66 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

the scantiness of our support is attributable, not to the im- 
providence of the rule which limits the amount, but to 
some other cause ; and whatever that cause may be, we 
at least have no information that the people refuse to con- 
tribute because they are not represented. Indeed, it would 
grieve us to knov/ this : for even though they should re- 
fuse to acknowledge us as their representatives in the 
General Conference, they cannot do less for the love of 
Christ than they would oblige themselves to do out of love 
for authority. 

" We rejoice to know that the proposed change is not 
contemplated as a remedy for evils which now exist in 
some infraction of the rights and privileges of the people, 
as defined to them by the form of Discipline ; but that it is 
offered, either in anticipation of the possible existence of 
such evils, or else on a supposhion of abstract rights, 
which, in the opinion of some, should form the basis of 
our government. 

" The rights and privileges of our brethren, as members 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, we hold most sacred. 
We are unconscious of having infringed them in any in- 
stance, nor would we do so. The limitations and restric- 
tions which describe the extent of our authority in General 
Conference, and beyond which we have never acted, vin- 
dicate our sincerity in this assertion. By those ' restric- 
tions' it is put out of the power of the General Conference 
* to revoke, alter, or change our articles of religion ;' or to 
revoke or change the general rules, or ' to do away the 
privileges of our members of trial before the society or by 
a committee, and of an appeal.' The general rules and 
the articles of religion form, to every member of our 
Church distinctively, a constitution, by which, as Method- 
ists and as Christians, ye do well to be governed ; and we, 
assembled together to make rules and regulations for the 
Church, most cheerfully acknowledge that the restrictions 


above mentioned are as solemnly binding upon us as the 
general rules are upon both us and you individually. 

" These restrictions are to you the guarantee of your 
* rights and privileges ;' and while we shall be governed 
by these, as such, we will also regard them as the pledge 
of your confidence in us. 

" But if by ' rights and privileges' it is intended to sig- 
nify something foreign from the institutions of the Church, 
as we received them from our fathers, pardon us if we 
know no such rights — if we do not comprehend such pri- 
vileges. With our brethren everywhere we rejoice, that 
the institutions of our happy country are admirably calcu- 
lated to secure the best ends of civil government. With 
their rights, as citizens of these United States, the Church 
disclaims all interference ; but, that it should be inferred 
from these what are your rights as Methodists, seems to 
us no less surprising than if your Methodism should be 
made the criterion of your rights as citizens. 

" We believe the proposed change to be inexpedient : 

"1. Because it would create a distinction of interests 
between the itinerancy and the membership of the 

" 2. Because it presupposes that either the authority of 
the General Conference ' to make rules and regulations' 
for the Church, or the manner in which this authority has 
been exercised, is displeasing to the Church, the reverse 
of which we believe to be true. 

" 3. Because it would involve a tedious procedure, in- 
convenient in itself, and calculated to agitate the Church 
to her injury. 

" 4. Because it would give to those districts which are 
conveniently situated, and could therefore secure the at- 
tendance of their delegates, an undue influence in the 
government of the Church. 

" With respect to lesser matters mentioned in the me- 


268 A HISTORY OF THE [1824- 

morials, we respectfully refer you to the revised copy of 
the Discipline, forthwith to be published." 

The subject of education carne before this conference 
with increased weight, and its importance was duly 
appreciated. The views of the conference in relation 
to this subject may be seen by the following extract 
from the report of the committee to whom it had been 
referred, and which met with the hearty concurrence 
of the conference : — 

" In considering this subject, your committee have been 
happy in believing that no arguments were necessary to 
impress this conference with a sense of its importance. 
The cultivation of the human mind, with a view to pre- 
pare it for the full exercise of its powers, and thereby to 
render it capable of answering the noble purposes of its 
creation, may be reckoned among the first and greatest ob- 
jects of a civilized community. The nature of this work 
is such that it requires an early commencement, and 
hence, in every enlightened nation, the education of chil- 
dren has been deemed necessary to the well-being of 
societies as well as individuals, and Christian people have 
held it among their most sacred duties. In the early esta- 
blishment of Methodism, in the very beginning of our reli- 
gious institutions as a Christian denomination, it was 
recommended to our people, made the duty of our minis- 
ters, and the fruit of it already realized sufficiently shows 
its utility. 

" Your committee, nevertheless, are fully impressed with 
the unpleasant fact, that this subject, so intimately con- 
nected with the vital interests of our Church, and with the 
salvation of so many thousands of souls, has been, and is 
at this moment, much neglected. While we are happy in 
believing that in many duties and labors we have done 
much more than several other denominations, we think it 


must be admitted that in the instruction of children some 
of them have exceeded us. And unless effectual mea- 
sures can be adopted for securing proper attention to the 
rising generation under our care, we may anticipate un- 
happy consequences. The children of our hearers, and 
especially those of our Church members who have received 
baptism at our hands, may be considered as standing in a 
relation to us different from that of children in general, 
and fully entitled to all the attention from us which their 
age and situation require. If properly taught and edu- 
cated, they will be prepared to become valuable members 
of our societies, and heirs of salvation ; but, if neglected, 
we may expect them to become vessels of wrath, fitted to 

" On the subject of schools and seminaries of learning, 
your committee have obtained all the information their 
limited time and means would allow, and are of opinion 
that in this also we are deficient. In 1820 a resolution 
passed the General Conference, recommending that each 
annual conference should establish a classical seminary 
within its own boundaries and under its own regulations. 
Three or four seminaries have been established in con- 
formity to this resolution, some of which are in successful 
operation, and it is, in the opinion of your committee, de- 
sirable that such an institution should flourish under the 
patronage of each annual conference in the Union. 

" Our Church contains multitudes of young men, not 
called to the ministry, who are qualified to teach, and 
many of whom would be more useful in such employment 
than they can be in any other. If these, as well as some 
of our local preachers, were made sensible of the good 
they might do our Church, even as teachers of schools, it 
is believed there would be no difficulty in supplying nu- 
merous schools of our country with teachers who would be 
in favor of the doctrine and discipline of our Church. 


270 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

" In closing these remarks, your committee beg leave 
to offer, for the consideration of this conference, the fol- 
lowing resolutions, namely : — 

" 1. That, as far as practicable, it shall be the duty of 
every preacher of a circuit or station to obtain the names 
of the children belonging to his congregations, to form 
them into classes, for the purpose of giving them religious 
instruction, to instruct them regularly himself, as much as 
his other duties will allow, to appoint a suitable leader for 
each class, who shall instruct them in his absence, and to 
leave his successor a correct account of each class thus 
formed, with the name of its leader. 

" 2. That we approve of the resolution, passed in the 
General Conference of 1820, on the subject of seminaries 
of learning, and hereby recommend that each annual con- 
ference not having a seminary of learning use its utmost 
exertions to effect such an establishment. 

" 3. That it shall be the duty of every travelling preacher 
in our Church to keep in mind the importance of having 
suitable teachers employed in the instruction of the youth 
of our country, and to use his influence to introduce teach- 
ers into schools whose learning, piety, and religious tenets 
are such as we could recommend." 

As it was the constitutional duty of the manag-ers of 
the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church to report the doings of the society for the four 
preceding years, and the state of the funds, a report was 
presented by the treasurer, in which it appeared that 
the whole amount collected for missionary purposes, 
from the commencement of the society to that time, 
was §14,716 244^, and expended during- the same pe- 
riod $11,011 40^, leaving- a balance of $3,704 83f. 
This shows the feeble manner in which the society 
commenced its operations, and how long it was, not- 


withstanding the favorable manner in which it had 
been received by the annual conferences, before the 
people generally came fully into this great and good 

The managers conclude their report to the confer- 
ence in the following words : — 

" In thus submitting to the General Conference a con- 
cise view of the transactions of the society, the managers 
cannot but express their gratitude to God for permitting 
them to be the humble instruments of aiding, in the ma- 
nagement of the concerns of this society, in any measure, 
to extend the empire of truth and righteousness in our 
world ; at the same time pledging themselves that, while the 
conference shall continue its operations for the noble pur- 
pose of evangelizing mankind, and of bringing them under 
the yoke of Jesus Christ, they will use their best endea- 
vors to promote the same blessed object, by a faithful dis- 
charge of their duties as managers of the Missionary So- 
ciety of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

''^New-York, April 23, 1824." 

This report, together with the entire subject relating 
to missions, was referred to a committee, v/hose report, 
which was concurred in by the conference, was as fol- 
lows : — 

" The committee view with pleasure the success attend- 
ing our missionary exertions for the last four years ; and 
think that we are loudly called upon to make our acknow- 
ledgments to the God of missions, for the special manner 
in which it has pleased him to own our efforts. 

" We began feeble, but God has strengthened us. We 
began fearful, but God has encouraged and assured us. 
So hmited was our knowledge, and so numerous the 
claims upon our benevolence, that we scarcely knew to 


272 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

what particular point to direct our first attention. God, 
however, we humbly trust, has given a direction to our 
labors which has been highly important and beneficial, 
not only on account of immediate effects, but because a 
great and effectual door has been opened for the further 
prosecution of our missionary plans. 

" By avoiding that prodigality of expenditure so evi- 
dently seen in some, and that partiality of appropriation so 
manifest in others, and by observing economy and pru- 
dence in the management of our missionary affairs, we 
cannot fail, under the continued blessing of God, to succeed 
in the great work of evangelizing even the barbarous na- 
tions around us. 

" While an eye to economy is had in the appropriation 
of the funds of the institution, your committee are of opi- 
nion that the missions among our Indians ought to be 
prosecuted with increased vigor, laying a proper founda- 
tion for facilitating their future conversion in the education 
of their children ; and that, for every missionary station, 
men should be selected as missionaries of hardy constitu- 
tions, of enterprising spirit, able and willing to labor, to 
sacrifice all for God and his cause. 

" But, in the midst of all these labors abroad, we should 
not forget that much remains to be done within the bounds 
of our respective conferences. While Zion is lengthening 
her cords and enlarging her borders, she ought also to 
strengthen her stakes, otherwise her enlargements will be 
her weakness. Let all the intervening sections of our 
country not inclosed in our fields of labor be examined, 
and, if Providence open the way, be occupied. Let mis- 
sionaries be appointed, whose duty it shall be, not to wan- 
der over a whole conference, nor to preach generally, if at 
all, in old societies made ready to their hands, except in 
places where societies are very small ; but to fix upon 
certain places still in the enemy's hands, and where there 


is rational ground of success, and then, by siege or assault, 
as the case may require, carry, in the name of the Lord, 
the strong holds of prejudice and sin. When this is done, 
let it be taken into a regular circuit, and the missionary be 
at liberty to pursue a similar course in other places. In 
this way, if we are steady and faithful to our purpose, we 
shall be enabled, by the divine blessing, ultimately to esta- 
blish ourselves in all the sections of our country, until the 
power of our doctrines and the purity of our discipline 
shall renovate every part. 

" Your committee take the liberty further to state, that, 
in their opinion, an open and candid statement of the con- 
dition of the missions will be profitable, not only as it will 
convince the public that we mean to act in good faith, but 
because the information so communicated, from time to 
time, will gladden the hearts of thousands who have con- 
tributed, or may by this means be induced to contribute, to 
this benevolent object." 

The American Colonization Society presented certain 
documents to the conference, which were referred to a 
committee to consider and report thereon, and the fol- 
lowing was concurred in by the conference : — 

" That the General Conference are not in possession of 
sufficient information relative to said society to render it 
proper for them, in their official capacity, to adopt any 
measures on the subject, farther than to recommend it" 
(that is, the colony at Liberia) " to the notice of the proper 
authorities of the Missionary Society of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, as a suitable field for sowing the good 
seed of the kingdom of God. Under this view of the sub- 
ject, the committee recommend the adoption of the follow- 
ing resolution, viz. : — 

" That it is expedient, whenever the funds of the Mis- 
sionary Society will justify the measure, for the episcopacy 


274 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

to select and send a missionary or missionaries to the 
colony in Africa now establishing under the auspices of 
the American Colonization Society." 

It would appear from the above report that the Ame- 
rican Colonization Society had not yet sufficiently 
developed its character and objects to enable the confer- 
ence to act intelli^bly and safely in furtherance of its 
views, or fully to endorse its measures. Its subsequent 
history, however, has removed the cause of those doubts 
which excited this hesitancy, and the conference has 
since, by sundry resolutions, entered heartily into the 
measure of endeavoring to plant a colony of American 
freemen of color, with their own consent, on the west- 
ern coast of Africa. These things belong more appro- 
priately to another period of oui- history, and will 
therefore be noticed in their proper place. 

Various enactments had been passed, from one Ge- 
neral Conference to another, with a view to regulate 
the practice of slavery in the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, an evil this which it seemed impossible to con- 
trol, much less to eradicate from the ranks of our 
Israel. From the organization of the Church, in 1784, 
slavery had been pronounced an evil, and, as before 
remarked, a variety of expedients had been resorted to 
for the purpose of lessening its deleterious tendencies 
where it seemed unavoidably to exist, to meliorate the 
condition of the slave where his civil bondage could not 
be removed, and entirely to prevent our preachers and 
people from holding slaves at all in those states and 
territories which {permitted emancipation. Finding, 
however, that the evil was beyond the control of eccle- 
siastical law, as to its eradication from the Church, and 
wishing to render the condition of the slave as comfort- 


able as possible, by holding his master strictly responsi- 
ble to the proper tribunals of the Church for the manner 
in which he treated his slave, as well as to extend to 
the colored members of our Church all the privileges 
compatible with their civil and ecclesiastical relations, 
this General Conference so modified the section in the 
Discipline on slavery as to read as follows : — ■ 

" Quest. What shall be done for the extirpation of the 
evil of slavery ? 

"Answer. 1. We declare that we are as much as ever 
convinced of the great evil of slavery : therefore no slave- 
holder shall be eligible to any official station in our Church 
hereafter, where the laws of the state in which he lives 
will admit of emancipation, and permit the liberated slave 
to enjoy freedom. 

" 2. When any traveling preacher becomes an owner 
of a slave or slaves, by any means, he shall forfeit his 
ministerial character in our Church unless he execute, if 
it be practicable, a legal emancipation of such slaves, con- 
formably to the laws of the state in which he lives. 

" 3. All our preachers shall prudently enforce upon our 
members the necessity of teaching their slaves to read the 
word of God, and to allow them time to attend upon the 
public worship of God on our regular days of divine 

" 4. Our colored preachers and official members shall 
have all the privileges which are usual to others in the 
district and quarterly conferences, where the usages of the 
country do not forbid it. And the presiding elder may 
hold for them a separate district conference, where the 
number of colored local preachers will justify it. 

" 5. The annual conferences may employ colored 
preachers to travel and preach where their services are 
judged necessary, provided that no one shall be so em- 


276 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

ployed without having been recommended according to 
the form of Discipline." 

So it remains, unaltered, to the present time. 

The following are the resolutions of the committee 
on the episcopacy, which were adopted by the confer- 
ence : — 

" 1 . That we approve generally of the conduct of the 
superintendents in the administration of the government 
for the last four years ; and that their zeal and exertions 
to promote the cause of God and the interests of the 
Church, under the circumstances in which they have been 
placed, merit the grateful acknowledgments of the General 
Conference and of the whole Church. 

" 2. That Bishop M'Kendree be, and hereby is, respect- 
fully requested to continue to afford what aid he can to 
the episcopacy, consistently with his age and infirmities, 
when and where it may best suit his own convenience ; 
and that the provisions of the last General Conference for 
meeting his contingent expenses be continued. 

" 3. That the episcopacy be strengthened by the elec- 
tion and ordination of two additional bishops at the present 
session of the General Conference. 

" 4. That it is highly expedient for the general super- 
intendents, at every session of the General Conference, 
and as far as to them may appear practicable in the inter- 
vals of the sessions, annually to meet in council, to form 
their plan of traveling through their charge, whether in a 
circuit after each other, or dividing the connection into 
several episcopal departments, as to them may appear 
proper, and most conducive to the general good, and the 
better to enable them fully to perform the great work of 
their administration in the general superintendency, and 
to exchange and unite their views upon all affairs con- 
nected with the general interests of the Church. 


" 5. That the book agents and book committee in New- 
York shall be a committee to estimate the amount neces- 
sary to meet the family expenses of the bishops, which 
shall be annually paid by the book agents out of the funds 
of the Book Concern, and that the above resolution be 
incorporated in the Discipline." 

In accordance with the third resolution in the above 
report, the conference proceeded, on the twenty-sixth 
day of its session, to ballot for two additional bishops. 
There were one hundred and twenty-eight voters pre- 
sent, and on counting the votes for the first time it 
appeared that no one had a majority. On the second 
balloting the Rev. Joshua Soule had sixty-five, and on 
the third the Rev. Elijah Hedding sixty-six, out of one 
hundred and twenty-eight votes. They were accord- 
ingly declared duly elected, and having signified their 
acceptance of the office, they were, after an ordination 
sermon by Bishop M'Kendree, at 12 o'clock on the 
27th, consecrated by prayer and imposition of hands, 
Bishop M'Kendree acting as the officiating minister. 

The conference passed a resolution authorizing the 
bishops to appoint a delegate to visit the Wesleyan Me- 
thodist conference at its session in July of 1826. This, 
however, was not carried into execution, in consequence 
of which we had no representative from England at 
our conference in 1828. 

The affairs of Canada once more engaged the atten- 
tion of the conference, but without coming to any 
conclusion satisfactory to the Canada brethren. A 
petition was presented from a portion of the preachers 
in the upper province, to be set off as an independent 
conference, with the privilege of electing a bishop to 
reside among them and superintend their affairs. The 


278 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

following resolutions contain the result of the delibera- 
tions upon this subject : — 

" 1 . That there shall be a Canada conference under our 
superintendency, bounded by the boundary lines of Upper 

" 2. That a circular shall be addressed to our preachers 
and members included within the bounds of the Canada 
conference, expressive of our zeal for their prosperity, and 
urging the importance of their maintaining union among 

" 3. That a respectful representation be made to the 
British conference of those points in the late agreement 
between the two connections which have not, on the part 
of their missionaries, been fulfilled." 

As before said, these measures were by no means 
satisfactory to those in Upper Canada who were desirous 
of having a separate and independent church organiza- 
tion in that province. Accordingly, on the return of 
the delegates who had attended the General Conference, 
a spirit of dissatisfaction was widely diffused,* the local 
preachers were convened, a conference organized, and 
a declaration of their grievances, rights, and future 
mode of operations published and circulated. All this 
took place before the Canada annual conference assem- 
bled. On the assembling of the conference, however, 
in Hallowell, Bishops George and Hedding being pre- 
sent, mutual explanations made, and pledges given by 
the bishops to sanction measures for a separate organi- 

* It is probably due to the interests of truth, as well as to 
the characters of the living and the dead, to say, that the 
chief agent of this movement was the Rev. Henry Ryan, 
who afterward withdrew from the Church, and attempted 
to establish a separate party. 

3 \ 


zalion in Canada hereafter, peace was measurably 
restored, and all things went on as heretofore. 

The constitutional term of the Rev. Thomas Mason, 
as assistant book agent, having expired, the Rev. John 
Emory, D. D., was elected to fill the vacancy, and Na- 
than Bangs was re-elected as the principal. 

It was manifest to all that the increased duties of the 
preachers, in consequence of the introduction of sabbath 
schools, the organization of the Missionar}^ and Tract 
Societies, and the increase of members in the larger 
towns and villages, rendered it expedient, (hat every 
part of the work might be duly and seasonably per- 
formed, that the circuits should be shortened, and that 
each thriving village should be privileged with preach- 
ing every sabbath, otherwise it was impossible to 
establish a permanent congregation, more especially in 
those places where other denominations had established 
congregations and a resident ministry. It had been 
long evident to many of our ministers and people, that, 
for the want of having a preacher stationed in all im- 
portant places, we had lost much of the fruits of our 
labor, and must, unless an adequate remedy were pro- 
vided, continue feeble, if not retrograde from the stand- 
ing we had already attained. This subject, it seems, 
presented itself before the committee on the itinerancy, 
together with others which relate to the duties of the 
pastoral office ; and the following resolutions, concurred 
in by the conference, wnll show the views Avhich were 
entertained in reference to these matters : — 

" 1. That the superintending preachers be instructed so 
to lay out their work that there may be sufficient time 
allowed each preacher for the faithful and extensive dis- 


280 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

charge of all his pastoral duties, in promoting family 
religion and instructing the children. 

" 2. That all our preachers observe that order of public 
worship pointed out in the twenty-third section of our form 
of Discipline ; and that in the administration of the ordi- 
nances, and in the service for the burial of the dead, they 
invariably use the form in the Discipline ; and in dismiss- 
ing the congregation, the apostolic benediction ; that they 
also attend uniformly to the order prescribed in chapter i, 
section 24, in regard to singing the praises of God in our 

" 3. That the Lord's prayer be used upon all occasions 
of public worship, at the close of the first prayer, and that 
it be strongly recommended to all our people to introduce 
it into their private and family devotions. 

" 4. That the preachers be particularly examined on 
these several subjects at each annual conference." 

There were no less than ^?;e new conferences created 
this year, making seventeen in all. 

Before the conference adjourned, which it did on 
Friday, May 29th, to meet in the city of Pittsburgh, 
May 1, 1828, the following address to the Wesleyan 
Methodist conference was adopted : — 

" Dear Fathers and Brethren : — In reciprocating 
the kind and affectionate sentiments contained in your 
communication to us, sent by the hands of those whom 
you had chosen to be the messengers of the churches, we 
feel an indescribable pleasure. Many are the associations 
that press upon us, and the emotions that affect us, in this 
pleasant interchange of affectionate regards. We look to 
England as the birthplace of that man, who, under the 
guidance of Heaven, was the founder of a great and flou- 
rishing church. It was there that the infant societies 
were nourished, and it was thence that the word of God 


was sent forth, even unto us. After we had flourished for 
some time under your fostering care, a mysterious chain 
of providences led to a separation of our societies in this 
country from the mother Church. But the scion that was 
planted here has been watered and blessed of God ; and 
though probably still inferior in solidity and strength, yet 
in the number and extent of its branches, and the abun- 
dance of its fruits, it vies with the parent stock. In this 
we rejoice, and are grateful to the great Head of the 
church, to whom alone the praise belongs. But it greatly 
increases our joy to know that our British brethren rejoice 
with us, and that the parent Church, with which we hope 
ever to be identified by the same holy doctrines and the 
same salutary discipline, is still flourishing, increasing, 
and abounding in every good work. 

" For this our increase of consolation we have been 
greatly indebted to our justly esteemed brother and father 
in the Church, the Rev. Richard Reece, and to his asso- 
ciated companion, the Rev. John Hannah, whom you 
have sent to declare your state unto us, and the interest 
you feel in our prosperity. We received them as your 
messengers, and as brethren beloved. Their presence 
with us has drawn the cords of brotherly love still closer, 
has seemed to introduce you more immediately before us ; 
and in all our intercourse with them, both social and pub- 
lic, we have been made to feel, more sensibly than ever, 
that in doctrine and discipline, in experience and practice, 
and in the great object of evangelizing the world, the 
British and American Methodists are one. And we de- 
voutly pray that they may ever so remain. 

" We are, with you, dear brethren, endeavoring to main- 
tain the purity of our doctrines, and are not conscious that 
we have suflfered them in any instance to be changed or 
adulterated in our hands. As they are the doctrines which 
have proved to so many, both in Europe and America, the 


282 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

power of God unto salvation, we deem them to be the gos- 
pel of God our Saviour ; and while he owns them we will 
never give them up. With you, too, we prize and practi- 
cally vindicate the general rules of our Church, and the 
pristine institutions and usages of Methodism. We are 
also following you, though at an humble distance, in your 
missionary exertions. But such is the extent, and in- 
creasing extent, of our work here, that we cannot find 
means or men for foreign missions. The increase of our 
population is perhaps unparalleled, and it is widely scat- 
tered over an extensive continent. To keep pace with it, 
under such circumstances, requires much labor and much 
privation. In addition to this, the Lord, as you have 
heard, has opened for us a great and effectual door among 
the aborigines of our country. These we dare not neglect. 
They are our neighbors, and we must minister unto them ; 
they have been injured, and we must make them repara- 
tion ; they are savages, and must be civilized ; heathen, 
and must be converted. All this shall be done if God 
permit. We have the work much at heart, and hope and 
pray for success. In addition to this, we have entailed 
upon us, in several of our states, a degraded and enslaved 
population, whose situation is making, if possible, a still 
stronger claim upon our Christian philanthropy. And, 
finally, the way seems to be opening for missionary exer- 
tions in Mexico and South America. 

" With these fields of labor in the midst of us and round 
about us, you cannot expect us to join you in the great 
and good work in which you are engaged in the East. 
Still we hope the time is not far distant when we shall 
join hands on the Asiatic shores of the Pacific Ocean, We 
are constantly advancing in our labors toward the West, 
and you are extending in the East, not only on the conti- 
nent, but over the islands of the sea. Is it chimerical then 
to suppose, that at some future day we shall have encom- 


passed this earth, and girded it round with glorious bands 
of gospel truth ? O no ; faith says it shall be done. And 
this faith is not without works ; certainly not on your part, 
for we hear from you that you are laboring assiduously in 
this great cause, imitating the illustrious example of enter- 
prise and diligence which so eminently marked the great 
founder of Methodism. You aim at great things, and you 
accomplish them. We admire the exertions of your minis- 
ters, and the liberality of your people. In our labors as 
ministers we hope we are not far behind you ; but, as a 
people, we do not yet equal you in active Christian bene- 
volence. In this respect, however, we are improving. 
Our people are becoming more alive to the importance of 
greater and more systematic exertions in the cause of the 
Church. And while we are enlarging our work, and mul- 
tiplying our numbers, we trust we have not forgotten that 
the great design of Methodism, the ultimate end of all its 
institutions, is to raise up and preserve, in the midst of a 
sinful world, a holy people. Without this, numbers and 
influence are nothing. We deprecate more than any 
thing else that ecclesiastical pride which builds itself up 
upon the numbers and popularity of the church, while that 
church is sinking in the spirit and tone of its divine life. 
From such a state of things, we on both sides of the water 
are doubtless united in saying. Lord, preserve us ; make 
us holy, and make us instrumental in spreading holiness 
throughout the earth. 

" We congratulate you, dear fathers and brethren, on 
the general prosperity that attends you, both in your labors 
at home and in your missions abroad ; but especially on 
account of the perfect harmony which you inform us pre- 
vails among you ; and we pray that it may ever continue. 
Of ourselves, though we are not able to say quite as much, 
yet in our present General Conference, which is now 
nearly closing, amidst some differences of opinion con- 

284 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

cerning the modes of administration, we find that we har- 
monize in the essential principles of Methodism. From 
this we are encouraged to hope, as intimated in his parting 
advice to us by your esteemed messenger, the Rev. Mr. 
Reece, that our minor differences of opinion on other sub- 
jects will soon be swallowed up in our attachment to the 
common cause. You too, in former days, have had your 
difficulties ; but those days have passed by, and peace and 
union now cheer you with their benignant rays. And we 
are hoping that, before we shall have arrived at your age 
and maturity as a church, we shall overcome any little 
ditiiculties that may now attend us. 

" Brethren, pray for us. And may the God of peace 
dwell with us, and dwell with you. Finally, may this 
great army of the faithful, who in two grand divisions are 
now carrying on the warfare in both hemispheres, so ac- 
quit themselves in the church militant below, as ultimately 
to unite with the church triumphant on high, where no 
ocean shall roll between, and no reciprocal messengers 
of love shall be needed to recount their victories and 

" We are, dear fathers and brethren, yours in the bonds 
of ministerial labor and Christian love. 

" Signed in behalf of the conference, 

" Enoch George, President. 

''Baltimore. May, 1824." 

"Note. — In the address sent to England a few verbal 
alterations were made, which should have been inserted in 
this, but were inadvertently omitted. This, however, is 
substantially the same with the one sent." 

N. B. The above address was written by the Rev. Wilbur Fisk. 



From the Close of the General Conference of 1824 to the Commence- 
ment of that of 1828. 

1824, Having, in the preceding chapter, detailed the 
doings of the General Conference at its last session, we 
will now proceed to notice the movements of the Church 
in her various departments of labor for the year 1824, 

This year the Rev. Charles Elliot wag appointed as 
an assistant to Mr. Finley on the Wyandot mission. 
Through their united labors the work of God spread 
both among the adults and the children of the school. 

The mission was visited this year by Bishops M'Keii- 
dree and Soule, who made a thorough examination of 
the premises, the state of the Mission-church, and 
school ; and the leport of their interview with the con- 
verted chiefs gave a most gratifying view of the general 
aspect of things. 

Through the influence of these labors, and that of 
the missionaries who had the immediate charge of the 
establishment, the number of Church members had in- 
creased this year to one hundred and sixty, and the 
school, now under the care of William Walker, the sub- 
agent, a man fully competent to his work, was in a 
prosperous condition. The farm also was improving, 
and yielding a partial supply for the consumption of the 
mission family. And what contributed mightily to the 
prosperity and stability of the work, while it gave irre- 
futable evidence of its depth and genuineness, spirituous 
liquors were, by a solemn decree, banished from the 


286 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

nation. Benevolent individuals, excited by reading the 
good news of this great work, as well as auxiliary mis- 
sionary societies, poured forth their stores to aid the 
cause of Indian missions. 

The mission among the Mohawks, in Upper Canada, 
was equally prosperous. The particulars, however, 
relating to tliis and other missions in that province, will 
come more properly under subsequent dates. 

Since tlie con^mencement of the Missionary Society, 
most of the new ground which was brought under cul- 
tivation was through the medium of missionaries, as well 
in the older parts of the country as in the new settle- 
ments in the west and south-west, though in most 
instances but a partial support was received from the 

This year the Rev. George Pickering was sent to 
form a new circuit in Newburyport and Gloucester, in 
Massachusetts, a region of country hitherto inaccessible 
to Methodist preachers, except now and then to a tran- 
sient visitor. His labors were accompanied with an 
outpouring of the divine Spirit, and about one hundred 
souls were brought to Christ in the course of the year ; 
and thus a foundation was laid for continued preaching, 
the people soon contributing to their own support. 

The Rev. John Lindsey was appointed as a mission- 
ary to South Hadley and Sunderland, Massachusetts, 
where he labored with such success that the following 
year the mission was taken into the regular \vork. 

Piscataquis, in Maine, was occupied as missionary 
ground by the Rev. Oliver Beale, and at the end of the 
second year it was included in the regular work, with a 
membership of eighty souls as the fruit of his labors. 

The work of God in the various domestic missions 


tnentioned under date of last year was in delightful 
progress, and was extending in various directions among 
the new and destitute settlements. Nor were the older 
parts of our work without the reviving influences of the 
Spirit of God. In various parts of Delaware state, in 
New- Jersey, the Susquehannah and Ontario dii?tricts, 
in the bounds of the Genesee conference, the New-Ha- 
ven and Rhinebeck districts, New- York conference, 
there were encouraging revivals of the work of God, 
begun generally through the agency of camp meetings, 
and then carried forward by a faithful attention to the 
means of grace in the circuits and stations. 

In Telfair county, in the state of Georgia, where 
religion had been at a low ebb for several years, the 
work of God commenced at a camp meeting held near 
the fork of the Oconee and Oakmulgee rivers, and 
thence spread in various directions through the adja- 
cent neighborhoods. The presiding elder, the Rev. 
John J. Triggs, relates the following anecdote respecting 
a Baptist preacher who attended the meeting and par- 
ticipated in its exercises : — " In the midst of the work he 
arose on the stand, and declared to the congregation 
that he had no doubt but this was the work of God ; 
and warned the people, especially professors of other 
denominations, of the dangerous consequences of oppos- 
ing God's work and of fighting against him. He then 
told them that he felt as solemn as death, and, lifting 
up his eyes and hands toward heaven, prayed God to 
send holy fire among the people. An awful solemnity 
rested on the assembly, and the power of the Higliest 
overshadowed them. Some fell to the ground, and 
others cried aloud for mercy." The meeting resulted 
in the conversion of thirty-four, and a number returned 


288 A HISTORY OF THE [1824. 

to their homes under deep conviction for sin, resolved 
on a reformation of heart and life. 

The cause of education was daily advancing from 
one annual conference to another, and exerting an en- 
lightening influence hoth on the young and the old. 
This year an academy was established in Cazenovia, 
in the bounds of the Genesee conference, a portion of 
our country fast increasing in population, wealth, and 
civil and religious enterprise. It was incorporated by 
the state legislature, and opened its doors for the educa- 
tion of youth of both sexes; and such has been its 
prosperity, that it has continued, enlarging its dimen- 
sions and extending the sphere of its influence, from 
that day to this, much to the credit of its founders and 
patrons, and greatly to the advantage of the rising 
generation. This, as well as the others which have 
been named, was brought strictly under a religious in- 
fluence, so that the principles of Christianity might be 
imbodied in the heart, as far as practicable, simultane- 
ously with the growth of literature and science. And 
the pious objects of its patrons have been in a good 
degree realized in the conversion, from time to time, of 
quite a number of the students. 

In proportion to the increase of preachers the number 
of locations was diminished, there being this year only 
forty-eight ; whereas, as might be expected, the num- 
ber of supernumeraries and superannuated was gradu- 
ally increasing in nearly all the annual conferences, 
there being this year of the former forty-three, and of 
the latter sixty-seven. Three had been expelled and 
nine had died during the past year. These last were, 
Charles Trescott^ David Gray^ John Wallace^ Jo- 
seph Kinkaidy Peyton Anderson.) Enoch Johnwn. 


Richard McAllister. Mordecai Barry ^ Louis R, 
Vetchtig^ and James Akins. It is no slight evidence 
of the trutli and excellence of the gospel, that it enables 
its advocates to die in the full possession of its promised 
blessings. Of the above-mentioned brethren it is re- 
corded that, having discharged their Christian and 
ministerial duties with fidelity, they all made a peaceful 
and triumphant exit from time to eternity, thus sealing 
the truths tliey had preached to others with their own 
lips in that most trying hour. 

Of Peyton A?iderso/i, particularly, excellent things 
are said. He was born February 9th, 1795, in Ches- 
terfield county, Virginia. Favored with the advantages 
of a good education in his youth, and being brought 
under the influence of gospel truth, at an early age he 
was made a partaker of pardoning mercy by faith in 
Jesus Christ. In his nineteenth year he commenced 
the work of an itinerant minister, and gave early indi- 
cations of those talents as a preacher, and of that zeal 
in the cause of God, which afterward distinguished him 
in his short career of usefulness. In his public exercises, 
as well as in his private intercourse, he was remarkable 
for the seriousness of his manner, arising, no doubt, 
from the sincerity of his heart, and his deep devotion to 
the cause of God. 

He had a discriminating mind, and could therefore 
easily distinguish betw^een truth and error, and nicely 
balance the relative claims of the several objects w4iich 
w^ere law^ful for mankind to pursue. And his deep 
solemnity in the pulpit, his ready command of appro- 
priate language, the fervor of his spirit, and evident 
sincerity of purpose, gave an impressiveness to all his 
discourses, which fastened the truths he uttered upon 

Vol. in.— 13 

290 A HISTORY OF THE [1824 

the heartd of his hearers. Though comparatively 
young in Cliristian experience and in the ministry of 
the word, yet he had learned much in the school of 
Christ) having passed through some severe struggles 
of mind, and wrestled in the strength of mighty faith 
and prayer against the violence of temptation, in which 
he was " more than a conqueror through Him who had 
loved him." He was therefore able to administer spirit- 
ual consolation to those who were in trouble, and to 
admonish such of their danger who were " wrestling 
against principalities and powers," as well as to point 
them to the only source whence their help was to be 

Having drunk deeply at the fountain of divine love, 
his heart expanded with benevolent feelings toward 
mankind generally, for whose salvation he longed and 
labored with all diligence. Hence the Missionary So- 
ciety found in him a warm friend and zealous advocate, 
and he was instrumental in promoting its noble objects 
by the formation of branch societies, and by stirring up 
a spirit of liberality among the people of his charge. 
And what rendered his precepts more weighty and 
influential, they were constantly enforced by his own 
example, both as respects the piety of his heart, the 
uniformity of his Hfe, and the burning charity with 
which he exemplified the living principle of his faith. 

In his last sickness and death the graces of Chris- 
tianity shone out with lustre, and eclipsed in his view 
all the fading glories of this world. While his friends 
were standing around his dying bed, and watching 
with anxious hearts the issue of his conflict, and beheld 
the fitful ebbings and flowings of animal life, he said to 
them, in the language of faith and hope. " Farewell. 


brethren. When we meet again it will be in heaven." 
He thus ended his mortal career August 27, 1823, in 
the twenty-ninth year of his age, and tenth of his pub- 
he ministry. 

Thus a briglit hght in tlie church mihtant became 
extinguished ere it had attained its meridian splendor. 
Myriterious are the ways of Providence ! Had our bro- 
ther Anderson lived to the common age of man, and 
gone on improving as he had begun, under the smiles 
of his heavenly Father, he doubtless would have risen 
to eminence in the church of God, and been a great 
blessing to his fellow-men. But He who " sees the end 
from the beginning," and whose "thoughts are not as 
our thoughts," in thus fulfilling the original decree de- 
nounced upon fallen man, in calling his servant to his 
eternal reward in early life, manifested his sovereign 
right ov^er the work of his hands, and challenged the 
pious submission of his people to the wisdom and good- 
ness of his dispensations. 

Number of Church members. 

Total. Preachers. 

328,523 1,272 
312,540 1,226 



This year 



Last year 



Increase 12,809 3,174 15,983 46 

1825. A work of grace commenced this year among 
the Mississaiiga Indians in Upper Canada. These 
were among the most degraded of all the Indian tribes 
in that country. From their habits of intercourse among 
the depraved whiles, they had bartered away their land 
for intoxicating liquor, had debased themselves by in- 
temperance, and were consequently lazy, idle, poor, and 


292 A HISTORY OF THE [1825. 

filthy lo a most disgusting degree. They seemed, in- 
deed, to he abandoned to a most cruel fate. 

Among others who had embraced the Lord Jesus 
during the work among the Moliawks was Peter Jones, 
a half-breed, his mother being a Mississauga and his 
father an EngUshman. Mr. Jones, Peter's fatlier, had 
been the king's surveyor, and his occupation leading 
him much among the Indians, during the days of his 
vanity he formed an intimacy with two Indian women, 
the one a Mohawk princess and the other a Mississauga- 
woman. About the year 1801, Mr. Jones, under the 
Methodist ministry, was awakened and converted to 
God. He then felt it his duty to repudiate one of his 
women, and he separated himself from the mother of 
Peter, the Mississauga, and married the other, who also 
embraced religion, and became a pious member (jf the 
Church. Peter foil wed his mother into the woods, 
and remained with Lii^ tribe until he was about twelve 
years of age, when his father brought him from the 
w^ilderness and sent him to an English school. While 
here, through the preaching of the gospel, he also was 
brought from darkness to light; and, understanding 
both languages, he was at first employed as an inter- 
preter, and finally became eminently useful as a minis 
ter of the Lord Jesus. 

Feeling, after his conversion, for the salvation of his 
wretched tribe, he hasted away to them, and told them 
what great things God had done for his soul. This 
had a pow^erful effect upon their minds, and led them 
to attend the meetings on the Grand river. 

A relative of Peter Jones, one of their chiefs, while 
attending these meetings, was led to the Lord Jesus for 
salvation, and his family soon followed his steps. Others 


followed their example, and, through the pious exertions 
of this converted chief and Peter Jones, a reformation 
was eflected this year among these degraded Mississau- 
gas, of such a character, so thorough and genuine, that 
all who beheld it were astonished, and could not but 
acknowledge the hand of God. They abandoned the 
use of intoxicating liquor, forsook their heathenish and 
immoral practices, were baptized and received into the 
communion of the Church, and demonstrated, by their 
subsequent conduct, that the w^ork was indeed the work 
of God. A white man, who had made his house the 
resort for drunken whites and Indians, seeing the visi- 
ble change in the temper and conduct of these Indians, 
could but acknowledge the finger of God, was struck 
under conviction, became a sincere convert, banished 
from his house his drunken companions, became sober 
and industrious, and devoted both himself and his 
house to the service of God. The whole number con- 
verted at this time was fifty-four, seven of whom were 

About the same time that this good work was going 
on so gloriously among the Mississaugas, a similar 
work commenced among a branch of the Delawares 
and Chippeways, who were settled at Muncytown, on 
the river Thames. This work began through the in- 
strumentality of a Mohawk by the name of Jacob, who 
had raised himself to respectability among them by his 
sober and industrious habits. Until he heard the truths 
of the gospel he thought himself a very good and happy 
man, and was so considered by his brethren ; but when 
the hght of divine truth shone upon his mind he saw 
himself a sinner against God, his fancied goodness and 
happiness fled, and he rested not until he found peace 


294 A HISTORY OF THE [1825. 

with God ilirough faitii in the Lord Jesus. No sooner 
did this great change take place in Jacob's heart than 
he went among his brethren, who were wallowing in 
the mire of iniquity and heathenish practices, address- 
ing them from ofie cabin to another, warning them, in 
the most affectionate manner, of the danger to which 
they were exposed, and beseeching them to be recon- 
ciled to God. " The Great Spirit," said he, in imper- 
fect English, " is angry. You must die. Now consider 
where the wicked man must go. We must be born 
neiD men. Our heart new. His Spirit make us new 
heart. Then, O ! much peace^ much joy !'^ 

Another among the first converts was an Indian of a 
very different character, and therefore the change was 
the more apparent and convincing. He was so given 
up to intoxication that he would barter any thing he 
had for vile w^iisky. At one time he offered his bullock 
for whisky, and, because his neighbors would not pur- 
chase it, in a violent rage he attempted to destroy the 
creature. At another time, having sold his clothes 
from his back for whisky, he stole from his wife the 
seed corn she had carefully preserved for planting, and 
offered it for the "fire waters," but was prevented fiom 
thus robbing his wife of the means of future subsistence 
by one of our friends, who purchased it and returned it 
to the squaw, upon whose labor in the field the family 
chiefly depended for bread. But even this man, vile as 
he was, who, in his drunken fits, was one of the most 
quarrelsome wretches that could haunt a human habit- 
ation, became reformed by the power of the gospel. 
That his reformation was thorough, was evidenced by 
the soberness, piety, and industriousness of his subse- 
quent life. The conversion of two such men had a 


most powerful effect upon the whole tribe. Many of 
them embraced the gospel, and a school was soon esta- 
blished for the education of their children and youth. 

The labors of Peter Jones were highly useful in con- 
ducting these missions. He interpreted for the mission- 
aries, and often addressed his Indian brethren, from the 
fulness of his own heart, with great effect. Many were 
the objections which the pagan. Indians raised against 
the gospel, some of them founded in truth, and some 
from false representations circulated among them by 
the enemies of Christianity. These objections were 
obviated by distinguishing between real and nominal 
Christians, and by showing that the latter disgraced 
themselves by abusing the holy doctrines and high pri- 
vileges to which they were called, and in which they 
professed to believe. It was, indeed, painful to be 
obliged to concede the fact, that hitherto the Indians 
had been imposed upon by the cupidity of white men, 
under the garb of Christianity; but this conduct was 
disclaimed and condemned by the missionaries, and the 
example of those who now came among them, and of 
the new converts, was presented as an ample refutation 
of all the slanderous representations of their adversaries. 
This silenced the clamor, and gave confidence to the 
friends of the cause. 

Several attempts had been made, but with little suc- 
cess hitherto, to establish Methodism in the city of New- 
Orleans, a place which needed the reforming influence 
of the gospel as much, perhaps, as any on the con- 

This city, which is now equal in importance, in a 
commercial point of view, to any in the United States, 
was first settled by the French, toward the close of the 


296 A HISTORY OF THE [1825. 

Beventeenth century, and the Roman Catholic religion 
was incorporated with its civil regulations. The pro- 
gress of the settlement, like all the others in that region 
of country, for a number of years was extremely slow, 
owing to a variety of causes, but chiefly to the wars 
between France and Spain, to the nnhealthiness of the 
climate, and the want of industry and enterprise among 
the original settlers. In 1703, that part of Louisiana 
west of the Mississippi and Pearl rivers, of which New- 
Orleans was the capital, was ceded to Spain, and so 
remained until 1801, when it passed into the hands of 
the French republic, from whom it was transferred, in 
1804, by purchase, to the United States. At this time 
the population, chiefly French Roman Catholics, num- 
bered about twelve thousand ; but from that period the 
increase of its citizens was much more rapid, by emi- 
grants from various parts of the Union, so that, at the 
time of which we now speak, there were probably not 
less than forty thousand. These Anglo-Americans, 
mingling w'ith the Creoles of the country, gradually in- 
troduced their habits and modes of living, as well as 
their religious tenets. 

But though New-Orleans was thus early settled, and 
possessed so many local advantages for commerce, as 
before said, its progress was slow^, and the population 
were encumbered with all those embarrassments arising 
out of the peculiarities of the Roman Catholic religion. 
In 1818, three years after the memorable victory of the 
American army under General Jackson, the city con- 
tained about thirty-six thousand inhabitants, most of 
whom were descendants of the French and Spaniards. 
And until about the year 1820, when a Presbyterian 
church was erected, there was no place of worship be- 


sides the two Roman Catholic churches. It is said, 
indeed, that the sabbath was generally desecrated by 
profane sports and plays, the principles of morality ex- 
ceedingly relaxed; pure religion little understood, and 
its precepts less exemplified in practical life. 

Among others who were lured to New-Orleans for 
the purposes of traffic from the other states were some 
members of our Church, who spent the winter months 
in the city, but, on account of the insalubrity of the cU- 
niate, retreated to their former places of abode during 
the heat of summer. These, however, beholding the 
degraded state of society, and feeling the deleterious in- 
fluence of such a general inattention to rehgion, called 
upon the authorities of the Church for help. According- 
ly, in the year 1S19, the Rev. Mark Moore was sent to 
New-Orleans, and he preached, under mau}^ discourag- 
ing circumstances, to a few in a room which was hired 
for that purpose, and some ineffectual efforts were made 
to build a church. In 1820 the Rev. John Manifee 
was sent as a missionar}^ to New-Orleans, and in the 
same year the place was visited by the Rev. Ebenezer 
Brown, who, being disappointed in his attempts to gain 
access to the French population in Louisiana, assisted 
Mr. Manifee in preaching to an English congregation 
in the city. From this time until 1824 New-Orleans 
seems to have been forsaken by the Methodist preach- 
ers thinking probably that it was useless to spend their 
strength to so little purpose, for I find no returns of any 
members of the Church until the year 1825. In 1824 
the Rev. Daniel Hall stands as a missionary for New- 
Orleans, but the prospect was yet but gloomy. 

This year, 1825, the Mississippi district was placed 
in charge of the Rev. William Wina7iSj whose emi- 

13* 3 

298 A HISTORY or THE [1825. 

nent talents as a preacher, and indefatigable labors as 
a prosit) ing ekler in tliat pail of the country, gave a 
more vigorous impulse to the work of God ; and rsew- 
Oiieans was blessed with the labors of the Rev. Ben- 
jamlii Drake^ \\'\\o was instrumental in reviving tbe 
hopes of the few pious souls who prayed and sighed for 
the salvation of Isiael in that place ; for we find that in 
1826 there were returned on the Minutes of conference 
eighty -three memheis, twenty-three whites and sixty 
colored. But still the work of God went on slowly, the 
preachers having to contend with a host of opposition 
from without and feebleness within the Church, with 
the unliealthiness of the climate, and the want of suita- 
ble acconnnodations for holding their meetings. The 
next year, however, the society had increased to one 
hundred in all. From this time the work has stead- 
ily advanced, and they have finally succeeded, by 
struggling hard with difficulties of various soils, in 
erecting a large and elegant house of worship, so that 
in 1838 they numbered six hundred and twenty-five 
members, five hundred and seventy of whom were 
colored, chiefly, I believe, slaves. 

Mobile and Pensacola, about fifty miles apart, the 
former in Alabama and the latter in Florida, were sup- 
plied last year and this with the preaching of the gospel. 
Under the patronage of the Missionary Society, the 
Rev. Henry P. Cook was sent to these places. His 
deep piety and faithful exertions in the cause of Christ 
soon gave him a commanding and salutary influence 
among the people of his charge. 

Since Mobile has been connected with the United 
States, by the cession of Louisiana, it has filled up 
rapidly with inhabitants, has become an incorporated 


city, a port of entry, and a place of considerable trade ; 
but, like most of the towns included in that tract of 
country, the people generally were quite neglectful of 
their spiritual and eternal interests until visited by the 
Methodist itinerants. Mr. Cook, however, was cordially 
received by a few, and he succeeded in raising a flou- 
rishing society, adopted measures for building a house 
of worship, which was finally completed, and the so- 
ciety has continued to flourish to the present time. Nor 
will the name of Henry P. Cook be soon forgotten by 
the inhabitants of Mobile. He fell a martyr to his work 
in that place this year, leaving behind him the savor of 
a good name, and numerous evidences of his deep de- 
votion to his work, and of his love to the souls of men. 

Pensacola was also becoming a town of considerable 
importance in that part of Florida, and Mr. Cook was 
instrumental in raising a small society in that place, 
which, how^ever, has fluctuated from time to time, 
struggling with various difliculties, until, in the year 
1828, they succeeded in building a meeting-house, in 
which they assembled for the worship of God. 

While attending to these two places, as the principal 
scene of his labors, in passing from one to the other, 
Mr. Cook preached to some scattered inhabitants along 
the Escambia river, in West Florida, w^hich was after- 
ward occupied as a separate mission field. 

Tallahassee, in another part of Florida, was also 
provided with the means of grace this year. The Rev. 
John Slade was sent to this region of country as a 
missionary, and he succeeded in forming a society of 
seventy-tln-ee members, sixty whites and thirteen 

The Early missiop, in a neighboring region of coun- 


300 A HISTORY OF THE [1825. 

try, was so successfully cultivated by the Rev. Morgan 

C. TurreiUine^ who was sent to form the circuit, that 
he returned no less than one hundred and thirty-six 
members, eighteen of whom were people of color. Tliis 
year was the commencement of a work which has con- 
tinued to spread in that part of Florida until several 
circuits have been formed, on which are large and flou- 
rishing societies. Such were the blessed results of the 
missionary spirit pervading our ranks at that time, and 
which has continued to rise and diffuse its hallowing 
influences in every direction among the people. 

In addition to those missions which included the more 
remote settlements in the exterior parts of our work, it 
was found, on examination, that there were many 
places in the older countries which had been overlooked 
by all denominations, being too remote from the centre 
of population for the people to attend the stated places 
of worship. Such were the Highland and Hampshire 
missions, in the bounds of the New- York conference ; 
the former embracing a destitute population in the midst 
of the Highlands, a mountainous and rather poor region 
of country, about sixty miles north of the city of New- 
York ; the latter a district of country in the north- 
western part of Massachusetts. The Rev. John J. 
Matthias was this year appointed to labor in the High- 
lands, and such was the success of his zealous efforts, 
that at the end of the first year he returned one hun- 
dred and thirty- four Church members, and at the 
termination of the second the people manifested a 
wilUngness and an ability to support themselves. It 
has accordingly since been included among the regular 

The Rev. Parmele Chamberlin was sent to the 


Hampshire mission. This was found a more difficult 
place to plant the tree of Methodism. Success, how- 
ever, finally crowned the persevering efforts of God's 
servant, so that, at the end of four years, this was also 
taken into the regular work. 

While the work was thus extending itself in new 
places, and causing " the wilderness and solitary places 
to be glad for" the coming of these heralds of salvation, 
the older circuits and stations were blessed with the re- 
viving influences of God's Spirit. Indeed, it was the 
vigorous action in the heart of the body which gave 
such a lively pulsation to the extremities. And what 
contributed not a little to diffuse this healthy action 
throughout the entire body was the publication of the 
Methodist Magazine, now arrived to the eighth volume, 
and which conve3^ed in its monthly numbers the news 
of what God was doing for the various tribes of men. 
Many testimonies to the salutary influence of this peri- 
odical on the interests of religion might be adduced 
from those preachers and others who were the most 
actively engaged in building up the walls of Zion. 
From the pages of the volume for this year, it appears 
evident that God was pouring out his Spirit on various 
parts of his vineyard, watering and reviving the souls 
of his people, and converting sinners from the error of 
their ways. 

A glorious work of God commenced in the latter part 
of last year in Chilicothe, Ohio, which resulted in an 
addition to the Church in that place, by the month of 
February of this year, of two hundred and twenty-eight 
members. From the time of the revival in this town 
in 1818 and 1819, there had been a diminution in their 
number, owing chiefly to removals still farther west ; 


802 A HISTORY or THE [1825. 

but this gracious work not only made up their loss, but 
also added new strength to the society, and increased 
their numbers very considerably. 

Through the means of camp and quarterly meetings 
there was a great work of God on the Ontario district, 
then under the charge of the Rev. George Lane. 
This good work spread through all that region of coun- 
try, so that the increase of members on that district for 
this year was upward of one thousand. 

The Genesee district was also visited with showers 
of divine grace, and most of the circuits shared in their 
refreshing influences. 

In Bridgetown, New- Jersey, where religion had been 
languishing for some time, a gracious w^ork of God 
commenced, which resulted in the conversion of about 
one hundred souls, most of whom became members of 
the Church. 

In Newark also, New-Jersey, there was a manifest 
display of the grace of God in the awakening and con- 
version of souls, under the labors of the Rev. William 
Thacher. It began by urging upon believers the ne- 
cessity of " going on unto perfection," or the seeking 
after holiness of heart and life ; and no sooner did they 
feel the enlivening influences of the Holy Spirit in their 
ow^n souls, than the work spread among the una- 
wakened part of the conmiunity, and very soon fifty 
souls were added to the Church, and great seriousness 
rested on the congregation general^. 

On Coey man's circuit, New- York state, there was a 
general revival of the work of God. This also com- 
menced among the professors of religion, who were 
induced to seek after " perfect love" as the privilege of 
believers in this hfe. Having their own souls baptized 


from on high, they were fired with a loving zeal for the 
salvation of their neighbors ; and the consequence was, 
that one hundred and seventy were brought to the 
knowledge of the truth and added to the Church. 

In the city of Albany, where Methodism had strug- 
gled with many difficulties for a long time, God poured 
out his Spirit, and about fifty souls were brought into 
the fellowship of the Church. 

On the Champlain district, then under the charge of 
the Rev. Buel Goodsell, the work of God prevailed very 
generally among the circuits, and the hopes of God's 
people were greatly revived and their hearts strength- 
ened. This good work was the result of a number of 
camp meetings which were held in dilTerent parts of the 
district. These were the means of the conversion of 
many sinneis, and a general quickening among the 
professors of religion. 

New-Haven district also, under the superintendence 
of the Rev. Samuel Luckey, was fav^ored with some 
revivals, and the state of religion was generally flou- 
rishing through the district. 

In this part of the country, as well as in some others, 
it had been found that we had labored to little purpose 
in the cities and principal villages, for want of con- 
venient houses of worship, and because we had not a 
preacher constantly among the people. From these 
defects in our plans of procedure, our societies in New- 
Haven, Middletown, and Hartford, and many other 
places, had been but feeble, and often the prospects were 
discouraging. About this time a remedy had been pro- 
vided in some places, and was providing in others, by 
erecting churches, and stationing preachers in those 
cities and villages where the people were able to support 


304 A HISTORY OF THE [1825. 

them. The blessed elTects of these movements were 
soon felt, and seen, thonj^h in some instances, in build- 
ing churches, the people felt themselves compelled, as 
they thought, to depart from our general usage, by sell- 
ing or renting the sHps, as they could not otherwise 
either build the houses, or induce the people to attend 
the preaching — parents pleading that they wished to 
seat their children and members of their household with 
them in places of public worship. 

Whatever may be said against this policy in other 
parts of our work, it is certain that its adoption in many 
portions of the country in the eastern and northern 
states has had a beneficial influence upon the interests 
of our Church. By this means the people have been 
able to meet the expense of sustaining the worship of 
God, and also to secure permanent congregations ; and 
the preachers could more fully and effectually discharge 
all the duties of pastors, in overseeing the temporal and 
spiritual affairs of the Church, such as visiting from 
house to house, attending upon the sick, burying the 
dead, meeting the classes, and regulating sabbath 
school, tract, and missionary societies. And who will 
say that these things are not as important to the well- 
being of the Church, or the prosperity of true religion, 
as it is '• to preach so many sermons T 

A great and glorious work this year prevailed in the 
Susquehannah district, in the bounds of the Genesee 
conference, under the presidency of the Rev. George 
Peck. Camp meetings were chiefly instrumental in 
kindling the sacred flame which spread among the cir- 
cuits and stations of this region of country, and many 
sinners were happily converted to God, while the holy 
impulse w^as felt through the churches generally. 


The Rev. Dan Barnes, in giving an account of the 
Black river district, in the same conference, speaks of a 
great work which commenced at a camp meeting and 
thence spread in various directions. 

In the city of Baltimore the Rev. Samuel Merwin, 
who had charge of the church in that place this year, 
writes, that mighty works were wrought in the name 
of the Lord Jesus. He says that from fifty to one hun- 
dred and fifty were crying to God for mercy in the same 
meeting, and he presumed that from five Imndred to 
six hundred were made partakers of pardoning mercy 
during the progress of the work. 

About this time a lively feeling was awakened in the 
Christian community in behalf of seamen, a class of 
men hitherto almost entirely neglected by the church. 
Indeed, as early as 1816, a few benevolent individuals 
in the city of New- York had directed their attention to 
the condition of this useful class of men, and they suc- 
ceeded in forming a society for promoting the gospel 
among seamen in the port of New- York, consisting of 
nearly all evangelical denominations, and its operations 
are conducted on the most catholic principles. Its af- 
fairs are managed by a board of directors, holding a 
corporate seal by an act of the legislature. Being pa- 
tronized by the Christian public, they succeeded, in 
1819, in purchasing ground and erecting a house of 
worship in Roosevelt-street, near the quays on the East 
river, quite convenient for the sailors to attend. At the 
dedication of this house, in accordance with the catholic 
principles on which it was built, the three sermons 
were preached by a Protestant Episcopalian, a Dutch 
Reformed, and a Methodist Episcopal minister. To 
insure the stated ministry of the word, the Rev. Ward 


306 A HISTORY OF THE [1825. 

Stafford, a Presbyterian minister, was first engaged to 
take charge of tlie congregation, who was occasionally 
assisted by ministers of other denominations. 

After he left, the directors obtained a gratuitous sup- 
ply by inviting ministers of various denominations, so 
as to keep up, as far as possible, the anti-sectarian cha- 
racter of the enterprise, that all might feel an interest in 
its promotion. It was soon found, however, that a con- 
gregation could not be collected and retained without 
the labors of a stated minister. Accordingly, in 1821, 
they employed the Rev. Henry Chase, at that time a 
local preacher, and an assistant teacher in the Wesleyan 
seminary in the city of New- York, to take charge of a 
weekly prayer meeting in the church, to distribute 
tracts among seamen, to visit their families, and to per- 
form such pastoral duties as might not interfere with 
his engagements with the seminary. Being quite suc- 
cessful in these efforts, at the request of the directors, 
and in accordance with the advice of his brethren in 
the ministry in the city of New- York, Mr. Chase re- 
signed his place as teacher in the Wesleyan seminary, 
and on the first of January, 1823, devoted himself en- 
tirely to the service of seamen. 

In 1825 brother Chase was admitted on trial in the 
New- York conference, and, at the request of the direct- 
ors of the seamen's society, was stationed in the Mari- 
ner's church, where, with the exception of eighteen 
months, when they had a minister of another denomi- 
nation, he has continued ever since. In 1828, perceiv- 
ing that great good resulted to seamen from his labors, 
and of those similarly employed in other places, and 
feeling the inconvenience of those changes which ordi- 
narily take place in our Church, the General Conference 


made an exception in favor of those preachers who 
were laboring for the spiritual good of seamen, allowing 
the bishop to continue them in the same station for any 
length of time. Mr. Chase has accordingly been con- 
tinued in the Mariner's church to the present time, as a 
member and elder in the New- York conference, and 
his ministrations have been greatly blessed. Hundreds 
of seamen have been soundly converted to God, and 
the church is generally filled with orderly and attentive 
hearers every sabbath, and regular prayer meetings are 
held every week. There is, indeed, a great improve- 
ment in the condition and general conduct of this use- 
ful and suffering class of men. 

As the Mariner's church is supported by the several 
denominations of Christians, no church organization 
has taken place there, but those who Avere brought to 
the knowledge of the truth were at liberty to unite with 
whatever church they pleased ; but I believe most of 
them have united with the Methodist Episcopal Church; 
and their numbers have become so considerable, that 
they have recently organized themselves into a church, 
under the name of the Methodist Episcopal Seamen's 
Church in the city of New- York, have elected trustees, 
and are now (1S40) making preparations to erect a 
house of worship for their accommodation and that of 
their seafaring brethren. 

Similar efforts have been made in other places, and 
with equal success, which will be noticed under their 
appropriate dates. 

On the whole, it would appear, notwithstanding some 
portions of our Church were agitated with discussions 
on the different modes of church government, that pros- 
perity generally attended the labors of God's servants, 


308 A IlISTORV OF THE [1825. 

and thai I lie spirit of revival pervaded the ranks of our 
Israel. Some other churches also caught the flame in 
many places, and were therefore making delightful 
progress in the advancement of true religion. 

Fifty-eight preachers were located this year, fifty-five 
returned supernumerary, and eighty-three superannu- 
ated ; fourteen had died, and three had heen expelled. 

Among the dead was William Bcaiichanij), whose 
eminent talents fitted him for great usefulness in the 
church of God. And while the civil historian enriches 
his pages with memoirs of statesmen, poets, orators, 
philosophers, and men of military renown who have 
benefited their country, we may be allowed to preserve 
a record of those eminent ministers of the sanctuary 
who, by the depth and ardor of their piety, their genius, 
and their eloquence in the pulpit, have contributed to 
advance the best interests of their fellow-men. The 
characters of such men are a precious legacy which 
they have bequeathed to the Church, more valuable, 
indeed, than silver and gold. 

William Beauchamp w^as born in Kent county, De- 
laware state, on the 26th day of April, 1772. He was 
a descendant of a pious Methodist preacher, who, about 
the year 1788, removed to the west and settled on the 
Monongahela river, and from thence, in about eight 
3^ears, on the Little Kenhawa river, Wood county, Va. 
Here, in conjunction with Mr. Rees Wolf, another Me- 
thodist preacher, he was instrumental in establishing 
some Methodist societies. William was a subject of 
religious impressions when quite a youth, and at about 
sixteen years of age he was made a partaker of justify- 
ing faith, and became a member of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church. 


In 1794 he joined the travehng ministry, and after 
discharging the duties of an itinerant preacher with 
great acceptance and usefuhiess west of the i\l!eghany 
mountains for three years, he was stationed, in 1797, in 
the city of New- York, and a few of the people here 
still remember the able manner in which he fulfilled 
the duties of his station. In 1799 he was stationed in 
Provincetown, in Massachusetts, and from thence he 
was removed, in 1800, to the island of Nantucket. 

In this place Methodism was scarcely known at that 
time. A local preacher by the name of Camion had 
preached there with some success, and hence the con- 
ference was requested to send them a regular preacher, 
and Mr. Beauchamp was accordingly sent. Here his 
piety and talents soon gained him the confidence of the 
people, and he was instrumental in raising a society of 
eighty mejiibers, and before he left the place a large 
and commodious house of w^orship was erected. This 
laid the foundation of Methodism in the island of Nan- 
tucket, Avhich has continued to enlarge its dimensions 
from time to time, so much so that the New-England 
conference has held two of its sessions in that place, the 
first in 1820, and the second in 1836. 

Unhappily for the Church, whose interests he served, 
in 1801 Mr. Beauchamp located. In the same year he 
was united in matrimony to Mrs. Frances Russell, 
the widow of Mr. A. Russell, who had been lost at 

Without stopping to notice the intervening periods of 
his hfe, it will be sufficient for the purposes of this short 
memoir to remark, that he remained in a located rela- 
tion to the Church until 1822, when he re-entered the 
traveling connection, and continued therein until his 


dlO A HISTORY OF THE [1825. 

death, which happened on the seventh day of October, 
1S21, ill the fifty-tliird yeai of his age. 

His piety was unquestionable, and his talents as a 
ministei" of Jesus Christ, as a writer, and as a man of 
business, were of the first order ; and, had he continued 
in the itinerant ministry, no doubt he would have arisen 
to the first distinction in the Ciiurch. During his lo- 
cated relation he removed to the west; and settled first 
in his former place of residence, on the Little Kenhawa, 
and then, in 1816, in Chilicothe, and finally he took 
up his residence at Mount Carmel, Illinois. Of this 
latter place, he, in conjunction with his friend, Thomas 
S. Hinde, was the founder. In all the places where he 
resided he obtained the confidence, respect, and affec- 
tion of the people, and was eminently useful as a minis- 
ter of Jesus Chiist, as well as a citizen among his 
neighbors. Indeed, such is said to have been the con- 
fidence of bis neighbors in his wisdom and integrity, 
that often civil suits were withdrawn from courts of 
justice and submitted to his arbitrement. He also in- 
fused into the minds of the youth within the circle of 
his acquaintance a taste for literary acquirements, both 
by example and precept. 

During this same period of his life he appeared before 
the public as a writer, and in 1811 he published an 
''Essay on the Truth of the Christian Rehgion," which 
is said, by those w4io are capable of judging of its cha- 
racter, to be a work of sterling merit. In 1816, while 
residing at Chilicothe, he became the editor of a monthly 
periodical, called "The Western Christian Monitor," 
for which he furnished some valuable pieces, written 
with spirit and much critical acumen. At this time we 
had no periodical publication : and feeling, in common 


with many others, the want of such a medium of 
instruction, lie was led, aided by some of his literary 
friends in the west, to undertake this work. For the 
short time it existed its circulation was considerable, and 
its pages were enriched with articles, both original and 
selected, which did honor to the head and heart of its 
editor. Among others who contributed articles for the 
Western Chiistian Monitor was Thomas S. Hinde, 
better known under the signature of " Theophilus Ar- 
minius," whose sketches of western Methodism after- 
ward enriched the pages of the Methodist Magazine, 
and who became the biographer of his deceased friend, 
the Rev. William Beauchamp. The work, however, 
continued in existence only one year, but it contained 
evidence of the piety, industry, and talent of its editor. 

After the commencement of the Methodist Magazine 
Mr. Beauchamp became an occasional contributor to 
that work, and all his pieces bear the stamp of genius, 
of an original thinker, and an accurate writer. 

Having returned to the ranks of the itinerancy, he 
again entered upon his work with all that ardor, and 
in the display of those ministerial qualifications, by 
which he had been before distinguished. In the second 
year he was appointed a presiding elder of the Indiana 
district. While traveling this district he was seized 
with a complaint with which he had before been visited, 
namely, an affection of the liver. He lingered under 
the influence of this corroding disease for about six 
weeks, during which time he exhibited the patience, 
faith, and love of the Christian, and died in the full 
hope of eternal life. 

Mr. Beauchamp was a close, a diligent, and a suc- 
cessful student, though in his youth he was deprived 


312 A HISTORY OF THE [18*i5. 

of lljc custoiiiaiy advantages of education. While a 
lad liis father renioved lo the Monongalicla, where 
schools were not to be found. But as he liad contracted 
a taste for books before his removal, he surmounted the 
difficulties of his situation, procured torch-lights as a 
substitute for candles or lanip.^, and when the labors of 
the day were finished, and the family retired to rest, 
young Beauchamp would prostrate himself upon the 
floor, and examine his books by the light of his torch. 
In this way he treasured up a stock of useful informa- 
tion, of which he availed himself in after life. He be- 
came thoroughly acquainted with the principles of his 
vernacular language, studied the Latin and Greek, and 
ill his riper years mastered the Hebrew tongue. In ad- 
dition to these acquirements, he cultivated an acquaint- 
ance witli some of the sciences, through the medium of 
the most accomplished authors. With this taste for 
literature and science, it seems strange that he should 
have neglected the study of history^ as it is stated he 
did, this being of all others the most important to store 
the mind with useful knowledge, and especially for the 
minister of the gospel. 

These qualifications, superadded to the depth and 
uniformity of his piety, his love of the Bible, and his 
acquaintance with its doctrines and precepts, fitted him 
in an eminent degree for usefulness in the Church ; 
and had he devoted himself exclusively to the work of 
the gospel ministry, as before sakl, he might have risen 
to one of its highest offices : as it was, after his return 
to the itinerancy, at the General Conference of 1824, 
whicli he attended as a delegate from the Missouri con- 
ference, he was a candidate for the episcopacy, and 
lacked only two votes more to insure his election. 


His style of preaching wag remarkable for its chastity, 
plainness, and nervousness. No redundancy of words 
encumbered his sentences — no pomposity of style swelled 
his periods — nor did there appear any effort to produce 
a momentary effect for the empty purpose of gaining 
the shout of applause. His attitude in the pulpit was 
solemn, his gestures easy and graceful, his arguments 
sound and conclusive, and his positions were all fortified 
by apposite appeals to the sacred Scripture. And 
though he made no artificial efforts at oratorical display, 
yet he exhibited the true eloquence of a gospel minister, 
by making his language reflect clearly the perceptions 
of his mind, by pouring the truths of Christianity upon 
his audience in the purest strains of a neat and ener- 
getic diction, and by enforcing the whole by tlie sin- 
cerity and earneotness of his manner. His delivery 
was deliberate, not loud and boisterous, but clear and 
distinct, leaving an impression upon the mind of the 
hearer that truth and duty were the object of his pursuit. 

His biographer relates the following incident in proof 
of the power and conclusiveness of his arguments, when 
engaged in establishing a controverted point. His an- 
tagonist, who was listening attentively to the discourse, 
finding the arguments too powerful for him to answer, 
rose, apparently with an intention to leave the house, 
but was so overcome by the force of truth, and his 
whole frame so agitated, that, finding himself stagger- 
ing, he caught hold of the railing, reeled, and dropped 
upon his seat, and there remained, overwhelmed and 
confounded, until the sermon was ended ; he then si- 
lently withdrew, and left Mr. Beauchamp master of the 

But he rests from his labors. And whatever of 
Vol. III.— 14 

814 A HISTORY OF THE [1825. 

human infirmities he may have exhibited, they were 
lost sight of amid the many excellences which adorned 
his character, and may therefore be entombed beneath 
the same turf which hides his mortal remains in Paoh, 
until the last trumpet shall awake his sleeping dust to 
life and immortahty. Acknowledging himself indebted 
to divine grace for present peace and future salvation, 
he hung upon the promises of the gospel for support 
and comfort, and finally resigned up his soul to God in 
the full hope of eternal Hfe. 

Another of the worthies who exchanged the itinerant 
race for the crown of reward was Williani Ross, of 
the New- York conference. Though his race was com- 
paratively short — for he died in the thirty-third year of 
his age — his course was steady, and his end glorious. 

He was a native of Tyringham, Mass., and was 
born February 10. 1792. In the seventeenth year of 
his age he was made a partaker of the justifying grace 
of God, became a member of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, and, in his twentieth year, entered the ranks 
of the itinerancy. In the early periods of his ministry 
he labored chiefly in the state of Vermont, where, in 
consequence of the badness of the roads and coarseness 
of the fare, he sometimes suflfered many privations, 
which gave him an opportunity of trying the strength 
of his resolutions, of his faith in Christ, his love to God 
and the souls of men. The faithfulness with which he 
discharged his duties in this rugged field of labor gave 
him favor in the eyes of the people, and commended 
him to the approbation of his brethren in the ministry. 

After traveling various circuits, in which he acquitted 
himself as an able minister of the New Testament, in 
1821 he was stationed in the city of New- York, where 


he labored two years with great acceptance. For the 
last two years of his ministry he was stationed in 
Brooklyn, Long Island, where he ended his life and 
labors in the full triumph of faith and hope. His last 
hours, indeed, were a brilliant comment upon the doc- 
trines he had preached, and tended not a litile to 
strengthen our faith in the divinity of their origin, and 
the efficacy of their application to the heart and con- 

William Ross is not exhibited as a caveat man, nor 
yet as a learned man. He was neither the one nor 
the other, in the common acceptation of ihe^e terms. 
But he was a good man, a good preacher, and a good 
husband, father, and friend, and he was thus good be- 
cause the grace of God in Christ Jesu3 had made him 
such. In one sense, indeed, he was great. He had a 
clear perception of the plan of redemptioii by Christ Je- 
sus, well understood the sacred Scriptures, was indefati- 
gable in his labors, was an eloquent and successful 
preacher of righteousness, and exemplified in his own 
life those pure precepts of Christianity which he recom- 
mended to others. 

The high estimation in which he was held by his 
brethren, and by the Christian community generally, 
may be inferred from his being frequently called, in the 
course of his ministrations in New-York and Brooklyn, 
to plead the cause of Bible, missionary, Sunday school, 
and tract societies. Here, indeed, he sometimes spoke 
with a force and eloquence which astonished and de- 
lighted his friends, while it confounded the enemies of 
the:?e benevolent exertions for the salvation of the world. 

In the pulpit there was a pecuhar solemnity in his 
manner, and dignity of expression — the grave, distinct, 

316 A HISTOliy OF THE [1623. 

sonorous intonations of his voice giving force and im- 
pres:^i\ cncss to the sentiments he uttered, and reminded 
the hearer that he was hstening to a messenger w ho 
felt the weight and importance of his message. Being 
a decided friend to all our henevolent institutions, and 
particularly to the missionary and education causes, he 
often advocated them in public, and gave them the 
weight of his inlluence in his more private intercourse 
in the circles in wliich he moved. Some of his satirical 
thrusts — for he sometimes used this dangerous weapon 
to put error and folly to the blush — at ignorance and 
covetousness, cut with the keener edge because of the 
strength and appiopriateness with which they were 
sent by his skilful hand. Nor was he deterred from 
exposing these common pests of human society merely 
because the wounds which he inflicted upon their vota- 
ries made them writhe and groan under the sensations 
of pain which they frequently suffered. 

He was equally skilful and much more delighted in 
the pleasing task of portraying before his audience the 
glowing beauties of charity, the divine excellences of 
the other Christian graces, and the attractive charms 
with which Christianity invested him who clothed him- 
self with its rich and lovely livery. When, therefore, 
Williairj Ross '-occupied that holy place, the pulpit," no 
one was disgusted with a repetition of cant and un- 
meaning—unmeaning, I mean, to him who utters them 
— phrases, but he hstened to the solemn reahties of eter- 
nity, which fell from the speaker's lips in accents of deep 
feeling, in language at once chaste, plain, and intelligi- 
ble, uttered in a tone of voice which bespoke a soul filled 
with the subject on which he was discoursing. 

I have made this short record as due to one who, had 


he lived and prospered in his race as he began and 
ended it, would doubtless have ranked among the first 
ministers of our Church. There was, indeed, an amia- 
bility of disposition and courteousness of demeanor about 
the movements of William Ross which drew forth the 
love of those who knew him, and at the same time a 
dignity of deportment which commanded their respect. 

There is one fact respecting him, which happened 
near the close of his life, that goes most forcibl}^ to set 
ofT the beauty and strength of his character. When it 
was ascertained by the official members in the city of 
Brooklyn that he was to be stationed among them, some 
of them, perhaps the majority, remonstrated against the 
appointment, so strongly indeed that the bishop hesi- 
tated about insisting upon making it. Among others 
who may have been consulted, the writer's opinion was 
asked. The reply was, '• Send him ; for such is the 
weight of his character, the mbanity and meekness of 
his manners, as well as his talents as a preacher, that 
he will soon overcome all opposition, and prove himself 
w^orthy of the affection and confidence of the people ;" — 
and then added, "A people who will reject such a man 
as William Ross are unworthy of any preacher." This 
was said from an intimate acquaintance with the man, 
and likewise from a knowledge that the objections to 
him originated from a prejudice which had no founda- 
tion in truth and reality. 

He was sent. It was not three months before every 
objection against him w^as removed, the work of God 
prospered, the church was filled with hearers, and never 
was a man more highly esteemed or affectionately loved 
than brother Ross was by the people of Brooklyn. So 
highly did they estimate his labors among them, that, 

318 A HISTORY OF THE [1826. 

immediately after his death, the society contributed 
about twelve hundred dollars for the support of his 
wi.low and orphan children. 

Of the Other twelve who liad ended their labors dur- 
ing tiie past year, ho)iorab!e mention is made of their 
fidehty in the cause of God and of their peaceful death. 

Number of Church inemhers. 

Whiles. Colored. Total. Preachers. 

This year 298,658 49,537 348,195 1,314 
Last year 280,427 48,096 328,523 1,272 

Increase 18,231 1,441 19,672 42 

1826. The aboriginal missions which had been 
commenced and prosecute.l under such favorable au- 
spices continued to prosper, and to promise the most 
happy results. There was, however, no other aborigi- 
nal mission opened this year, and nothing worthy of 
special notice which happened among those which had 
been begun, except that their continued prospeiity still 
attracted the attention of the Church, and led to those 
plans for the evangelization of other tribes w'hich will 
be noticed hereafter. 

The great change which had been wn-ought among 
the Mississauga Indians, heretofore related, was followed 
by the most blessed results on other fragments of the 
same tribe. An additional number of twenty-two, who 
professed faith in Christ, were baptized this year and 
formed into a class in Bellville, in Upper Canada. They 
were placed under the care of two of their principal 
men, Captain William Beaver and Jolm Sunday, who 
had before given evidence of a sound conversion, and 
who now acted as class leaders. Nothing could furnish 
a more convincing evidence of the thorough change 


which had been effected in the hearts of toese people, 
than was evinced by their forsaking entirely their hea- 
thenish habits, and banishing from among them the use 
of all intoxicating liquors, becoming thereby sober and 
industrious. Infidelity itself was constrained to bow 
before the majesty of truth, and to confess, however re- 
luctantly, that nothing short of divine power could pro- 
duce a reformation so thorough and permanent. 

Some new missions were commenced this year, em- 
bracing parts of Florida and Alabama, called the 
Holme's Valley and Pea river missions, and were put 
under the charge of the presiding elder of the Talla- 
hassee district, the Rev. George Evans. These coun- 
tries were but thinly populated, the settlements some- 
times being from twenty to forty miles distant from each 
other, separated by a wilderness. On this account it 
was difficult to collect congregations, or to pass from 
one settlement to another ; but, notwithstanding these 
discourasrino^ circumstances, the missionaries succeeded 
in their evangelical efforts in forming societies, so that, 
in 1827, there were returned on the Holme's Valley 
mission one hundred and two white and thirty-five 
colored members, and on Pea river one bundled and 
four white and twenty-one colored ; and the good work 
thus begun has steadily gone forward fiom that time to 
this, so that Tallahassee has since become the seat of 
the Alabama conference. 

The Rev. S. Belton was sent to form a circuit in the 
newly settled townships between the Mississepa and 
Attawa rivers, in Upper Canada, places which had 
been seldom if ever visited by any minister of the gos- 
pel. The settlements had been formed chiefly by emi- 
grants from Ireland, who were in very moderate circum- 


320 A HISTORY OF THE [1826 

stances, and therefore unable to do much for the support 
of rcli'Tious institutions. They were, however, thank- 
ful fur the care thus manifested for (heir spiritual wel- 
fare, generally listened with attention to the word of 
life, and did wliat they could to make the missionary 
comfortable. Tiiat the word took effect is manifest 
from the fact that the next year there were returned on 
the Minutes two hundred and seven members, and the 
work has continued to prosper, under the labors of 
God's servants, from that to the present time. 

There were several refreshing revivals of religion 
this year in some of the older circuits, more particularly 
in the south and west, where the principal increase of 
members was found. These revivals w^ere accompa- 
nied by the same evidence of divine power and grace 
which had attended those heretofore related, and gave 
to the friends of relisfion irrefutable arsruments in their 
favor. At a camp meeting held on Hanover circuit, in 
Virginia, there were not less than one hundred and 
twenty souls who professed to find the pearl of great 
price, and the good work spread with such rapidity that 
upward of three hundred were brought to God on this 
circuit. On the Bottetourt circuit similar results followed 
two camp meetings which were held there this year. 
In Anne Arundel county, Maryland, there were mighty 
displays of the powder of God. The work commenced 
at a camp meeting held at a place called Rattlesnake 
Springs. It was believed that not less than two hun- 
dred and fifty persons were brought from darkness to 
light, and several professed to be filled with "perfect 
love." while many departed from the place under deep 
conviction for sin, and groaning for redemption in the 
blood of the lAmb. 


Though these and other instances of revival were 
witnessed during the year, yet the general increase of 
Church members was not so great as the year before. 

The New-England conference had succeeded in esta- 
blishing an academy within its hounds, for the educa- 
tion of youth of both sexes, in Wilbraham, Massachu- 
setts, and the one at Newmarket was merged in this. 
It was this year put under the charge of the Rev. Wil- 
bur Fisk, by whose pious and judicious management it 
greatly prosj>ered, and was soon filled with students, 
and has been instrumental in shedding the lights of 
literature and religion on the rising generation. Here 
young gentlemen are taught all those branches of lite- 
rature preparatory to an entrance into college, or upon 
the active business of life, at the same time that the 
principles of the gospel are faithfully inculcated ; and 
the institution has been frequently favored with gracious 
outpourings of the Spirit, resulting in the conversion of 
many of the students. 

The Pittsburgh conference made an attempt to esta- 
blish a collegiate institution within its bounds, called 
Madison College^ and the Rev. Henry B. Bascom was 
appointed its president. It was located in Uniontown, 
Fayette county, in the state of Penns3dvania. It went 
into operation under favorable auspices, and was incor- 
porated, in 1827, by the legislature of the state. It did 
not, however, long continue. Its endowment was small, 
and the number of students was by no means adequate 
to its support. Hence, though blessed with an able 
faculty, its dissolution affords another evidence of the 
impracticability of sustaining collegiate institutions with- 
out ample endowments. How else can this be done ? 
The price of tuition is necessarily so low, in the various 

14* 3 

322 A HISTORY OF THE [1826. 

literary institutions in our country, that an attempt to 
raide it sulliciently liigh to meet the expense of tuition 
and other incidental expenses would be to debar all 
students from an entrance into their inclosures ; and it 
is equally impossible to sustain them from the ordinary 
prices of tuition and board ; and hence the absolute ne- 
cessity of ample endowments, either from the state, or 
from the benefactions of individuals, or by the more 
sure method of annual collections, in order to keep them 
in successful operation. Of this all must be sensible, 
and therefore all who feel an interest in the prosperity 
of these institutions must, if they would have them 
permanently established, contribute liberally for their 

In the month of September this year was commenced 
the publication of the Christian Advocate, a weekly pe- 
riodical, devoted especially to the interests of the Me- 
thodist Episcopal Church and to general intelligence. 
Periodical liteiaiure had become more and more in de- 
mand since the recommencement of the Methodist Ma- 
gazine, and weekly religious newspapers were springing 
into existence among almost all denominations of Chris- 
tians ; and two, one in Boston, Mass., and another in 
Charleston, S. C, were published under the patronage 
of their respective conferences, and the friends of the 
Church very generally seemed to call for one to be 
issued from the Book Room. This led to a consulta- 
tion among the editors and book committee, together 
with some of the annual conferences; the proposition 
was finally submitted to the New-York conference, at 
its session in May of this year, and it recommended 
that measures be adopted for the publication of such a 
periodical with all convenient speed. 


It is true, some were opposed to the measure, particu- 
larly those who were interested in the success of the 
papers aheady in existence, which had now obtained 
an extensive circulation, particularly Zion's Herald, the 
one issued in Boston. This opposition, however, was 
overruled, and the first number of the Christian Advo- 
cate was published on the 9th of September, 1826. 

The appearance of this weekly sheet, filled, as it was, 
with useful and interesting matter, gave great satisfac- 
tion to the members and friends of our Church, and 
the number of subscribers in a very short time amounted 
to about thirty thousand. That it has done much 
good, and was most opportunely commenced, has been 
abundantly demonstrated in every successive year of its 
circulation, and by the testimony of thousands of its 
readers. By this means intelligence is received from 
every part of the world, and conveyed, weekly, as from 
a common centre of information, to its thousands of 
readers in every corner of the land. Thus old friends, 
who may be separated at a distance of thousands 
of miles, may hear from each other, interchange senti- 
ments, and, in some sense, converse together of each 
other's welfare ; and what the Lord is doing in one 
part of his vineyard may be known in every other 
part. This is the advantage which a general possesses 
over a local paper. This was extensively felt and ap- 
preciated, and hence its circulation, in the course of one 
j^ear from its commencement, by far exceeded every 
other paper, religious or secular, published in the United 

Sixty-three preachers located this year, sixty-six were 
returned supernumerary, eighty-six superannuated, two 
withdrew, and six were expelled ; twenty had died. 


324 A HISTORY OF THE [1826. 

Among the deatlis recortled thi^ year was that of 
John Sumuicrjield, whose eminent talents as a pieacher 
gave him a commanding attitude before the community, 
and excited a general tone of regret when the news of 
his death was announced. For a full account of his 
life and labors I must refer the reader to his biography, 
which was published by his brother-in-law soon after 
his death. From this it appears that he was born in 
the town of Preston, in England, on the 31st of Janu- 
ary, 1798. His father was a local preacher in the Wes- 
leyan Methodist connection in England, and he educated 
his son John in those religious principles which governed 
his own heart and life. At a suitable age he was put 
under the tuition of the Moravian academy at Fair- 
field, near Manchester, where he gave early indications 
of that precocious genius for which he was afterward so 
eminently distinguished. 

In 1813 the family removed to Ireland, \vhere, at the 
age of seventeen, young Summerfield was made a par- 
taker of justifying grace through faith in Jesus Christ 
while attending a prayer meeting with some pious Me- 
thodist soldiers. He no sooner tasted that the Lord is 
gracious than he felt a desire that others should partici- 
pate with him in the same inestimable blessing. He 
accordingly embraced every opportunity to invite his 
fellow-sinners to come to the fountain of salvation, that 
they might drink of its waters and live for ever. In 
this way he continued to exercise his gifts, greatly to 
the satisfaction of those who heard him, until 1819, 
when he was received on trial in the Methodist confer- 
ence of Ireland. As it was a time of some trouble 
among the Methodist societies in Ireland in those days, 
and as the fervor of his spirit and powers of pulpit ora- 


toiy gave him more than ordinary influence, young as 
he was, lie was selected to travel extensively through 
the country, for the purpose of promoting the general 
interests of the societies. He continued to travel and 
preach in Ireland, making, in the mean time, an occa- 
sional visit to England, until 1821, when his father 
removed to America, and John accompanied him, and 
was received on trial in the New- York conference in 
the spring of 1821.* 

His first appearance in public after his arrival in 
New-York was at the anniversary of the American 
Bible Society, and his speech on that occasion was re- 
ceived with great eclat, and gave him a most favorable 
introduction to the American community. Nor were 
his labors in the pulpit unappreciated. The houses 
were thronged with hearers whenever he preached, and 
the auditors hung upon his lips with the most intense 
interest and delight. Persons of all professions and of 
all classes of society were attracted by the fame of his 
eloquence, and expressed their admiration of the power 

* In the reception of Mr. Summerfield the New- York con- 
ference recognized the principle, that the regnlations of 
Methodism in one part of the world are to be respected in 
every other part. According to a rule of the English and 
Irish conferences, a preacher remains on trial four years 
before he is admitted into full connection; but in the United 
States his probation ends with two 3"ears, when he is eligible 
to be admitted and ordained a deacon. Mr. Summerfield 
had traveled three years on trial in the Irish conference, and 
of course had but one year more to complete his probation; 
he was accordingly received by the New-York conference 
as having but one year more to serve as a preacher on trial. 
Hence in 1822 he was admitted into full connection and or- 
dained a deacon, according to the usages of our Church. 
And in 1824, having served two years as a deacon with 
fidelity and success, he was elected and ordained an elder. 

326 A HISTORY or THE [1826. 

with which he enchained them to tlie words which 
dropped from his hps. 

Many have inquired in what the secret of this power 
over the understandings and attention of the multitude 
consisted. In whatever else it might have consisted, it 
was not in empty declamations, in boisterous harangues, 
nor yet in any attempt to overpower and astonish you 
with sudden bursts of eloquence ; nor was it, I appre- 
hend, in the unusual depth and profoundness of his 

Summerfield was young, w^as pious, honest, and sim- 
ple-hearted, was naturally eloquent, deeply devoted to 
the cause of God, possessed a great command of lan- 
guage, and his style of preaching was chaste and clas- 
sical, flowing from him with an easy and graceful 
elocution. This I believe to be the secret of his power. 
He had a sound understanding, a w^arm heart, and a 
vivid imagination — had acquired a rich stock of the 
most useful knowledge — and hence, whenever he spoke 
in the name of God, he poured forth from a heart over- 
flowing with the kindliest feelings a stream of evange- 
lical truth, which fell upon the audience '• like dew upon 
the tender herb, and like rain upon the mown grass." 
A "godly sincerity" was ev^idently the pervading princi- 
ple of his heart, and a tone of simplicity characterized 
his style of preaching. When you heard him you were 
charmed with the melody of his voice, with the rich 
flow of his language, with the pure and evangelical 
sentiments which he uttered, and w^ith the deep spirit 
of piety running through his whole performance. No 
strained efforts to dazzle you with wnt, or with high- 
sounding words, with pompous periods, with far-fetched 
metaphors, or with sentences swelled and encumbered 


with an accumulation of epithets, appeared in any of 
his discourses or speeches. On the conlraiy, you felt 
that you were hstening lo a messenger of God, honestly 
proclaiming what he believed to be the truth, in lan- 
guage chaste and elegant, flowing from a heart filled 
with his subject, breathing good-will to his audience, 
and intent only on doing them good. This was John 
Summerfield in the pulpit; and his popularity arose 
from an active zeal, exemplified in his spirit and words, 
to promote the best interests of all classes of men by the 
wisest possible means. 

Nor was his society in the more private circles less 
attractive and instructive. On his first appearance 
among us there was a modesty and diffidence, a meek- 
ness and humihty, every way becoming a Christian 
and a young minister who felt a proper deference for 
his seniors. To say that he did not, in some measure 
at least, rise in self-confidence with the rising popularity 
of his character, would be saying wbat no one acquainted 
with human nature could well believe. But the eleva- 
tion of his character, as a preacher of the gospel, gave 
him a commanding attitude before the community, 
which he constantly exerted to promote the highest in- 
terests of his fellow-men. He certainly bore his honors 
with becoming modesty, and availed himself of his great 
popularity to advance the honor of God and the salva- 
tion of men. Though the minister of a sect, and tho- 
roughly imbued with its doctrine and spirit, he was far 
from being exclusive in his feelings and views, but dis- 
played that spirit of Catholicism which enabled him to 
exert a hallowing influence on all around him. And 
while he must have carried about him the common 
infirmities of our nature,, they were but as occasional 


328 A HISTORY OF THE [1826. 

spots upon the sun — tliey obscured his kistre but for 
a moment, and then his intellectual, moral, and reli- 
gious excellences shone out with an increasing and a 
steady brilliancy. 

He most certainly exerted a beneficial influence upon 
the interests of true religion. Nor was this influence 
confined to his own Church. Other denomination?, 
and particularly the various charitable and religious as- 
sociations, availed themselves of his talents to advocate 
their cause and to promote their respective objects. And 
as he was ever ready to comply with their wishes, as 
before said, his physical powers were not adequate to 
the task of such continued application. The fire which 
burned within became so intense that the material ves- 
sel was gradually weakened by its consuming flames. 
He was at first prostrated by a hemorrhage of the lungs, 
from which, however, he paitially recovered, so as to be 
able to appear occasionally in public. But his appear- 
ance was extremely wan and feeble, while his soul still 
broke forth in those strains of gospel truth and persua- 
sive eloquence which captivated his hearers and melted 
them into tenderness. 

It was hoped by his friends that a voyage to Europe 
might tend to reinvigorate his enfeebled constitution. He 
accordingly made a voyage to France, and attended the 
anniversary of the Paris Bible Society as a representa- 
tive of tlie American Bible Society, where he delivered 
one of those addresses for which he was so peculiarly 
qualified, as the zealous and able advocate of institu- 
tions of benevolence. This address, which was inter- 
preted by Mr. Wilder, an American gentleman, and a 
benevolent Christian, then residing in Paris, was received 


with enthusiastic admiration by the audience, and 
responded to in terms of affectionate respect and con- 
gratulation, expressive of the joy that was felt in the 
union of sentiment and effort which mutually pervaded 
and actuated the Paris and American Bible Societies. 

On his return from his foreign tour he entertained 
hopes, for a season, that his health might be restored ; 
but these hopes were soon blasted by the return of his 
disease, accompanied by those symptoms which gave 
sure indications to his physicians and friends that his 
dissolution was nigh at hand. After lingering for a 
considerable time, frequently suffering exquisitely from 
the violence of his disorder, he at last ghded sweetly 
and peacefully into eternity, in the twenty-eighth year 
of his age, and the eighth of his public ministry. 

During his protracted illness he exhibited the virtues 
of meekness and patience in an eminent degree, bowing 
submissively to the divine mandate, and looking for- 
ward with a lively hope to immortality and eternal life. 
Though sometimes he complained of the want of spi- 
ritual consolation, and of a feeling of mental gloom — • 
which arose, no doubt, from the nature of his disease — ■ 
yet for most of the time he manifested an unshaken 
confidence in his God, and expressed a calm resignation 
to his will, mingled with a hope full of immortality. 
But he rests from his labors, and his works of faith and 
labors of love have followed him as evidences of his 
fidelity to the cause of God. 

Another who fell in the harness this year was an old 
veteran of the cross of Christ, whose long services and 
deep devotion to the cause of God deserve commemo- 

Daniel Ashiiry had been in the ministry forty years, 


330 A HISTORY OF THE [1826. 

during which time he had given evidence of his warm 
attachment to the holy cause he had espoused, by the 
fiJehty with which he had discharged his Christian and 
ministerial duties. He was not, indeed, a great preacher, 
but he was remarkably distinguished for the meekness 
of his disposition, for his patience in suffering, and for 
the simplicity of his manners. He therefore won the 
confidence of his brethren as a man of God, and a most 
devoted minister of Jesus Christ. 

His death was sudden and peaceful. Returning 
from a walk in the yard, he looked up toward heaven, 
with a smile on his countenance, and uttering a few 
words, he sunk into the arms of death, in the sixty-fifth 
year of his age. 

Daniel Hitt had also departed to another world in 
the full hope of eternal life. He was made a partaker 
of the grace of pardon in early life, and in 1790 entered 
the itinerant ministry. In the first years of his itine- 
rancy he labored much in the new settlements in Vir- 
ginia and in the western country, where he won for 
himself those laurels which adorn the brow of the faith- 
ful, self-denying minister of Jesus Christ. For several 
years he was the traveling companion of Bishop Asbury, 
who ever treated him as his confidential friend. During 
these travels over the continent he became extensively 
known to a large circle of friends, who esteemed him 
highly as a brother, and as an amiable Christian mi- 

In 1808 he was elected as an assistant book agent, 
in which office he served for four years, under the su- 
pervision of the Rev. John Wilson. At the end of this 
term he was elected the principal, in which office he 
continued to discharge its duties, according to the best 


of his ability, to the end of his constitutional term, in 
1816. Though his hterary attainments were hmited, 
yet his strict integrity and great fidelity eminently fitted 
him for a faithful discharge of his duties in the high 
trust confided to him. And the afl^ability of his man- 
ners, the sweetness of his disposition, and his courteous 
conduct in the social ciicle, endeared him to his friends, 
as a companion in whose society they dehghted to 

In the pulpit he dwelt chiefly upon experimental and 
practical religion, seldom entering upon those contro- 
verted points which so often involve discussions among 
the several denominations of Christians. Here he was 
solemn and dignified, and strove to impress upon the 
minds of all the importance of a practical attention to 
the truths which he uttered. 

He died of the typhus fever. In his sickness his 
mind was kept in peace, and he died in the triumph of 
faith and love. 

Another aged veteran, Joseph Toy^ was taken from 
the walls of our Jerusalem to his resting place above. 
He was brought from darkness to light under the 
preaching of Captain Webb, who was one of the first 
Methodist preachers in America, and was at that time 
preaching in Burlington, New- Jersey. This was in 
the year 1770, and Joseph was then in the twenty- 
second year of his age. After receiving license to 
preach, he labored as a local preacher until 1801, when 
he entered the itinerancy, in which he continued, faith- 
fully discharging its duties, to the end of his life. 

In 1819, in consequence of debility, he was returned 
superannuated, and he settled in the city of Baltimore, 
where he preached occasionally, and was beloved and 


332 A HISTORY OF THE [1826. 

respected by all who knew him. Having filled up the 
measure of his days in obedience to the will of God, he 
died in great peace, on the 28th day of January, 1826, 
in the seventy-ninth year of his age. 

One of the excellences of brother Toy was the punc- 
tuality with w^hich he filled his engagements. At the 
age of seventy he was heard to say that for twenty 
years he had not disappointed a congregation — a prac- 
tice worthy of the imitation of all. Although, in the 
latter part of his life, his sight so failed him that it was 
difficult for him to walk the streets without help, yet he 
continued to preach almost every sabbath, and some- 
times twice, and was finally conducted from the pulpit 
to his dying bed, on which he manifested a perfect sub- 
mission to the divine will, expressing his firm reliance 
upon the promise of eternal life. 

John P. Fi?ile7/, professor of languages in the Au- 
gusta College, Kentucky, had entered into rest during 
the past year. Though he was young in the itinerant 
ministry, 3^et he was a man of distinguished worth, and 
possessed virtues w^hich may be profitably held up for 
the imitation of others. The following account is from 
the pen of Dr. Bascom, whose intimate knowledge of 
the subject of his remarks enabled him to depict the 
character of brother Finley as it was, and especially to 
present those peculiarities by which he was distin- 
guished : — 

" John P. Finley was born in North Carolina, June 13th, 
1783. From childhood he was marked as possessing no 
common share of intellect. He was early placed at school, 
and while in his abecedarian course he evinced an apti- 
tude to learn that induced his father, a distinguished Pres- 
byterian clergyman, (who is now, at the age of seventy, a 


Methodist traveling preacher,) to give him a classical 
education. Owing to his habits of industry and perseve- 
rance, he soon acquired a competent knowledge of the 
sciences, and a reputable acquaintance with the learned 
languages. Of the English language he was a perfect 
master, and taught its proper use with almost unrivaled 
success. From the age of twelve or fourteen years he 
was often deeply affected with a sense of sin, and the im- 
portance of repentance and faith; but his mind was so 
much perplexed with the doctrines of absolute personal 
predestination, of which his father was then a strenuous 
and able assertor, that he came to no decision on the sub- 
ject of religious opinions until he reached the years of 
manhood. About the age of twenty-one he married, and 
soon after was brought to the knowledge of salvation by 
the remission of his sins. Early after his conversion he 
was convinced that a ' dispensation of the gospel' had 
been committed to him. He weighed well the impressions 
and convictions of his mind and heart in relation to the 
fearful and responsible business of a Christian minister ; 
but, when finally and fully convinced of his duty, he did 
not hesitate. There were, indeed, many reasons why he 
should confer with flesh and blood, but with his character- 
istic firmness he rejected them all, and took the pulpit, I 
think, in 1811. At the time of his conversion he resided 
in Highland county, Ohio. His ministerial career was 
commenced during a residence in Union, Greene county, 
Ohio, whither he had been called to take charge of a se- 
minary. At the head of this institution he continued about 
six years, living and preaching the religion of Christ in its 
native simplicity and power. 

" From Union he removed to Dayton, distant only about 
thirty miles, and conducted an academy in this place for 
two vears. It was here our acquaintance and intimacy 
commenced, which ended only with his useful life. He 

334 A HISTORY OF THE [1826. 

left Dayton, beloved and regretted of all, and accepted a 
call to superintend a respectable seminary in Steubenville, 
Ohio. In this place he continued not quite two years. In 
his ministerial exertions he was * instant in season and 
out of season,' and labored with more than ordinary suc- 
cess. His next remove was to Piqua, Ohio, where he 
continued as principal of an academy for four years. In 
all these places his pulpit efforts were highly acceptable ; 
his social intercourse seasoned with dignity and piety, and 
his residence a blessing to all about him. From this place 
he made his last remove to Augusta, Kentucky. Here he 
taught a classical school for some time, and was afterward 
appointed principal of Augusta College, in which relation 
he continued until the time of his death. In these several 
places his labors in the pulpit were considerable and ex- 
tensively useful. All who knew him esteemed him as a 
man of talents and irreproachable Christian character. He 
was indeed, all in all, one of the most amiable, guileless 
men I ever knew : never did I know a man more perfectly 
under the influence of moral and religious principle. His 
uniform course was one of high and unbending rectitude. 
One error, as reported in the * Minutes,' respecting his 
conversion, I must beg leave to correct. I do it upon his 
own authority (when living) and that of his brother, the 
Rev. James B. Finley, superintendent of the Wyandot mis- 
sion. There is something rather remarkable in the man- 
ner in which these worthy ministers were first brought to 
reflect with more than ordinary concern upon their latter 
end. John and James were amusing themselves in the 
forest with their guns ; and as John was sitting carelessly 
upon his horse, James's gun accidentally went off, and the 
contents came very near entering John's head. The bro- 
thers were mutually alarmed, humbled, and thankful ; they 
were more than ever struck with the melancholy truth, 
that ' in the midst of life we are in death ;' they reflected 


upon their unpreparedness to meet death and appear in 
judgment. Each promised the other he would reform ; 
and the result was, they were both led to seek religion, as 
the only preparation for eternity. Both the brothers agree 
in stating that this circumstance was the means, in the 
hand of God, of their awakening and conversion, as nei- 
ther of them was in the habit of attending the preaching 
of the gospel before the inquietude and alarm created by 
this occasion. I have been thus minute in detailing the 
immediate means of his conversion, at the request of a 
surviving brother, in whose estimation the apparent incom- 
petency of the means magnifies the grace of God in this 
singular dispensation of blended mercy and providence. 

" John P. Finley was in the ministry about fifteen 
years. He was ordained deacon by Bishop Asbury, on 
the 17th of September, 1815. He received ordination as 
elder at the hands of Bishop Roberts, July 2, 1820. At 
the time of his death he was a member of the Kentucky 
annual conference — actively dividing his time and energies 
between the business of collegiate instruction and the 
labor of the pulpit. 

" As a man, the subject of these recollections was en- 
gagingly amiable, ingenuous, and agreeable ; equally 
removed from affectation and reserve, the circle in which 
he moved feh the presence of a friend and the influence 
of a Christian and minister. 

" As a teacher, his excellence was acknowledged by all 
who were competent to decide upon his claims ; and 
though he gloried most in being found a pupil in the 
school of Christ, yet he was no stranger to the academy 
and lyceum. 

" x\s a husband, there is one living whose tears have 
been his eulogy, and to whom, with his orphan children, 
friendship inscribes these lines. As a father, he was 
worthy of his children, and in pointing them to another 


S36 A HISTORY OF THE [1826. 

and better world he was always careful to lead the way 

" As dL friend, he was warm, ardent, and confiding, and 
not less generous than constant ; his intimate friends, how- 
ever, were few and well selected. 

" As a minister, in the pulpit, he was able, impressive, 
and overwhelming. The cross of his redemption was his 
theme, and in life and death it became to him the * em- 
phasis of every joy.' In all these relations I knew him 
well, and can therefore speak from the confidence of per- 
sonal knowledge and accredited information. 

" The last time I saw him I preached a sermon, at his 
request, on the ' Inspiration of the Scriptures.' When I 
had retired to my room, he called on me, in company with 
a friend, and in his usual frank manner embraced me, and 
observed, ' H , I thank you for that sermon, and I ex- 
pect to repeat my gratitude in heaven.' Little did I think, 
at this interview, I was gazing on my friend for the last 
time, and that in eighteen months his ripened virtues were 
to receive the rewards of the heavenly world ! But so 
it was, and I, less fit to die, am spared another and another 

" He died on the 8th of May, 1825, in the forty-second 
year of his age and sixteenth of his ministry ; and at the 
same time that his bereaved family wept upon his grave, 
the sadness of the Church told that she had lost one of 
her brightest ornaments. Just before his triumphant spirit 
rose to sink and sigh no more, he was asked how he felt, 
and what were his prospects upon entering the dark valley 
and shadow of death. He replied, in language worthy of 
immortality, ' Not the shadow of a doubt ; I have Christ 
within, the hope of glory — that comprehends all ;' and then, 
with the proto-martyr, he ' fell asleep.' 

" Such is a very imperfect sketch of the life, character, 
and death of John P. Finley. God grant, reader, that 


you and I may share the glory that gilded the last hours 
of his toil/' • 

Of Nathan Walker^ Martin Flint, William 
Young, Thomas Wright, John White, Henry P. 
Cook, Christopher /S*. Mooring, David IStevens, Syl- 
vester G. Hill, Ezekiel Canfield, William aS*. Pease, 
Samuel G> Atkins, and Damon Young, who had 
departed this life during the past year, it is recorded 
that they all finished their course with joy. 

Number of Church members^ 

Whites. Colored. Total. Preachers. 

This year 309,550 Sl^SSd 360,884 1,406 
Last year 298,658 49^537 348,195 1,314 

Increase 10,892 1,797 12,689 92 

1827. This year the " Sunday School Union of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church" was formed in the city 
of New- York. The reader, however, is not to infer 
from this that the Methodists now for the first time en- 
tered upon the work of Sunday school instruction. In 
the first volume of this History we have seen that sab- 
bath schools were commenced among the Methodists 
in this country as early as 1790, but were soon discon- 
tinued for want of sufficient encouragement. The ori- 
gin of these schools in England is well known ; and 
Mr. Wesley was among the first to patronize and re» 
commend them to his people, and they soon became 
very general throughout his societies. 

It was about the year 1816 that the several denomi- 
nations of evangelical Christians in this country began 
to turn their attention to Sunday school instruction, 
and the plan of a union was formed for the purpose of 

Vol, III.— 15 

338 A ttlSTORY OF THE [182'? 

harmonizing their views and concentrating their eflTorts, 
under an impression that by these means more good 
might be efiected to the rising generation than by sepa- 
rate and denominational action. This resulted in the 
formation of the "American Sunday School Union," 
which was located in the city of Philadelphia, and ex- 
tended itself, by means of auxiliaries, all over the United 
States, embracing all evangelical denominations, or 
so many of each as chose to unite with them. Into 
this union our people had in some places entered. By 
the parent society books were issued, agents employed 
to travel through the country to promote its objects, and 
a weekly periodical commenced, devoted especially to 
the interests of sabbath schools. 

With this general union, however, all were not satis- 
fied. Most of the Protestant Episcopalians chose to 
conduct their schools independently of the American 
Union, and many of the Methodists were uneasy under 
this regulation ; and, after much consultation, it was 
finally agreed to form a Sunday school society of our 
own, under such regulations as should be conformable 
to our doctrinal and other peculiarities. The reasons 
for this measure I cannot express better than in the 
following address, which was sent out by the managers 
immediately after the formation of the society. It fully 
unfolds the motives and objects by which its founders 
were actuated. It is as follows : — 

" In approaching you on the subject to which your at- 
tention is now invited, the managers take the liberty of 
stating a few things which have dictated the propriety of 
forming the society designated by the above constitution. 
They can assure you that they have not been led hastily 
into this measure, but, according to their best ability, have 


carefully weighed every circumstance connected with it, 
having deliberately consulted with each other, and with 
their most aged and experienced brethren, both preachers 
and private members of the Church. 

" The Methodist Episcopal Church is now composed 
of nearly four hundred thousand members, upward of four- 
teen hundred traveling preachers, and perhaps more than 
double that number of local preachers. From the peculiar 
organization of this Church, all these are considered as 
one body, adopting the same doctrines, discipline, mode 
of church government, and, the managers would hope, 
actuated by the same spirit, under the same great Head 
of the church, striving to ' preserve the unity of the Spirit 
in the bonds of peace.' These, together with the regular 
attendants on the Methodist ministry, make a population, 
including children, of not less than two millions, which 
are dependent on the ministrations of our Church. 

" Without even insinuating the want of soundness in the 
cardinal principles of Christianity in the major part of 
other Christian denominations in our country, or calling in 
question the purity of their motives or ardency of their 
zeal, the managers will not conceal the fact, that they give 
a decided preference to their own Church, firmly believing 
its doctrines and discipline, and have witnessed with un- 
speakable joy its surprising progress in so short a time, 
and its salutary influence on the hearts and lives of so 
many happy thousands. It is a truth as evident as the 
blaze of the sun at mid-day, that the first impetus which 
was given to the gxeat work of reformation now going for- 
ward in the world, God gave through the instrumentality 
of the Wesleys and their coadjutors in the ' ministry of re- 
conciliation.' The introduction into this country of a spi- 
ritual and energetic itinerating ministry, first begun by 
those men of God, has produced results at once astonish- 
ing and delightful. Others have caught the missionary 


340 A HISTORY OF THE [1827. 

spirit, and have entered into the work with zeal and suc- 
cess. In spreading pure religion, the managers wish them 
all good speed. 

" Among other effects of this great work, by which the 
present age is distinguished, sabbath school instruction is 
not the least. The primary object of the first promoters 
of this work was to afford elementary instruction to such 
poor children as were destitute of common day school 
education, and at the same time to give such religious in- 
struction as is suited to the age and capacity of the chil- 
dren. The utility of this mode of imparting knowledge to 
the juvenile mind soon became apparent to all denomina- 
tions of Christians, and in the large towns and cities espe- 
cially they have less or more availed themselves of its 
advantages. In the progress of the work, in our country, 
efforts have been made to unite all sects and parties in one 
general society, called ' The American Sunday School 
Union Society ;' and while many have come into this 
union, others, thinking it best to manage their own affairs 
in their own way, remain in an insulated state, or have 
arrayed themselves under the standard of their own deno- 

" Among others who have hitherto stood alone, there 
are many belonging to our Church. Not feeling inclined 
to connect themselves with the general union, and finding 
no centre of union in their own Church, they have long 
felt the inconvenience of their insulated state. As the 
Methodist Book Concern is located in the city of New- 
York, it was natural for them to look to this place for aid. 
Accordingly, frequent applications have been made to the 
agents of that establishment in reference to this subject. 
It was at once perceived that this establishment afforded 
facilities for printing and circulating books suitable for 
Sunday schools, as well as the receiving and sending out, 
through the medium of the periodical works printed there, 


all necessary information in relation to their institution 
which could not be obtained elsewhere ; and the agents 
of that Concern have pledged themselves to the society 
that Sunday school books shall be furnished by them as 
cheap as they can be obtained at any other place. 

" These circumstances led to the idea of forming a 
Sunday School Union for the Methodist Episcopal Church. 
But here, at the outset, many difficulties were to be en- 
countered. Most of those in our Church engaged in Sun- 
day schools in the city of New- York were connected with 
the general union ; and though some things had recently 
transpired of which they could not wholly approve, they 
were strongly attached to the union, having labored in this 
work with their brethren of other denominations with much 
harmony and Christian feeling ; but, after deliberating 
with calmness on all the circumstances of the case, the 
managers are convinced that duty enjoins it on them, be- 
cause more good may be ultimately accomplished, to form 
a union for the Church of which they are members, inde- 
pendent of the American Union. Experiment alone will 
test the correctness of this opinion. 

" It has already been observed, that the primary object 
of Sunday schools was to impart elementary instruction, 
mixed with religious improvement, to those children who 
were destitute of the advantages derived from common 
schools. Though this original object ought never to be 
abandoned, yet the general diffusion of this sort of instruc- 
tion in our country, through the medium of common 
schools, ard public and private free schools, renders this 
object less essential. Hence religious instruction is the 
grand and primary object of Sunday school instruction in 
our day and among our children. On this account, how- 
ever humiliating the fact, a general union of all parties 
becomes the more difficult. Whatever may be the inten- 
tion, each teacher of religion will more or less inculcate 


342 A HISTORY OF THE [1827. 

his own peculiar Aaews of Christianity, and thus insensi- 
bly create party feelings and interests. And this difficulty 
is increased by the practice recently adopted by the em- 
ployment of missionaries who are to be supported from 
the funds of the general institution. The managers are 
of the opinion, that the most likely way for the several 
denominations to live and labor together in peace, is for 
each to conduct its own affairs, and still to hold out the 
hand of fellowship to its neighbor. They therefore dis- 
claim all unfriendly feeling toward others who may be 
engaged in this good work. They wish them all success 
in diffusing moral and religious influence on the minds of 
youth, and hope always to be ready to reciprocate any 
act of kindness which may contribute to strengthen each 
other's hands in the work in which they are mutually 

" Having thus explained the views of the society, the 
managers would now call on their brethren and friends to 
unite with them, by establishing, wherever it is practica- 
ble, Sunday school associations auxiliary to this society. 
To give a direction to this work, and to produce as much 
uniformity as local circumstances will allow, the form of a 
constitution suitable for auxiliary societies is herewith 

" One principal reason for locating the parent society 
in New- York, in preference to any other place, is the 
facilities afforded by our Book Concern for printing and 
circulating books. The agents of that growing establish- 
ment hold an extensive correspondence with every part 
of our country, and possess the readiest means of commu- 
nicating information on every subject connected with 
Sunday school instruction, and can supply any auxiliary 
with books on the shortest notice and cheapest terms. 
And it will be perceived, by an article in the constitution, 
that by paying three dollars into the funds of the institu- 


tion, sending a list of its officers, and a copy of its annual 
report, an auxiliary is entitled to purchase books at the 
reduced prices. A list of the books, with the prices an- 
nexed, will hereafter be furnished through the medium of 
the Advocate and Journal. 

" That an itinerating ministry possesses advantages pe- 
culiar to itself, in promoting objects of benevolence, will 
not be, by any, disputed. This, as well as the manner in 
which our Book Concern is conducted, supersedes the 
necessity and the expense of employing separate agencies 
in order to carry on the work of Sunday school instruc- 
tion. The funds, therefore, which may be raised, can be 
appropriated to the purchase of books. 

" It will be perceived from the constitution, that it is 
the design of this society, by means of auxiliaries, to 
comprehend every part of our Church in this great and 
good cause. The senior bishop is constituted the presi- 
dent, and the other four bishops are vice presidents ; and 
provision is made for each annual conference to elect a 
vice president from its own body ; and the board of ma- 
nagers being located in New- York, a centre of union is 
formed for the whole community, and all being connected 
with our Book Concern, an easy channel of communica- 
tion is opened, by which books may be printed and circu- 
lated, and remittances and information made and received. 

" These being the views and objects of the society, the 
managers think that they may confidently call on their 
brethren and friends for their aid and co-operation. To 
the ministers of the Church, especially, do they look for 
an efficient effiart in carrying the benevolent design into 
practical operation. Let them think on the numerous 
children imbosomed in the Church, which they are ap- 
pointed to nourish with the sincere milk of the ivord. These 
are the lambs of the flock, which, that they may become 
the sheep of God's pasture, must be tenderly nursed. Let 

344 A HISTORY OF THE [1827. 

them, therefore, be gathered into the fold of sabbath 
schools, put under the care of faithful shepherds, who will 
Avatch over their welfare, instil into their minds moral and 
religious truth, and thus prepare them, under the influence 
of divine grace, to become faithful followers of the chief 
Shepherd and Bishop of their souls. 

" The managers conclude by commending their cause 
to God and to the prayers of their brethren, that they may 
be wisely directed in this arduous enterprise, and by say- 
ing that any suggestion, by which the system may be im- 
proved, so as to accomplish more perfectly the purposes 
of its organization, will be thankfully received and duly 

The following article in the constiLution of the society 
will show what were its objects : — 

" The objects of this society shall be, to promote the 
formation and to concentrate the efforts of sabbath schools 
connected with the congregations of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church, and all others that may become auxiliary ; 
to aid in the instruction of the rising generation, particu- 
larly in the knowledge of the Holy Scriptures, and in the 
service and worship of God." 

Provision was then made for the formation of auxi- 
liary societies, and other matters usually connected 
with Sunday school operations, for furnishing books, 
funds, <fec. 

The constitution was adopted and the society formed 
on the second day of April, 1827, and it commenced its 
operations under the most favorable auspices. The 
measure, indeed, was very generally approved, and 
hailed with grateful delight by our brethren and friends 
throughout the country. It received the sanction of the 
several annual conferences, who recommended to the 


people of their charge to form auxiliary societies in every 
circuit and station, and send to the general depository 
in New- York for their books ; and such were the zeal 
and unanimity with which they entered into this work, 
that at the first annual meeting of the society there 
were reported 251 auxiliary societies, 1,025 schools, 
2,048 superintendents, 10,290 teachers, and 63,240 
scholars, besides about 2,000 managers and visitors. 
Never, therefore, did an institution go into operation 
under more favorable circumstances, or was hailed with 
a more universal joy, than the Sunday School Union 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 

Our separation, however, from the general union, 
and the establishment of a distinct organization, pro- 
voked no little opposition from some quarters, and led 
the managers into an investigation of the origin of Sun- 
day schools, both in Europe and America, and the facts 
elicited were spread before the community in their first 
annual report. B}^ this it appeared, as before stated, 
that although Mr. Raikes might have been the first to 
organize regular sabbath schools in England, yet Mr, 
Wesley was among the first to patronize them, and the 
very first to furnish teachers who gave their services 
gratuitously ; that even the British and Foreign Bible 
Society originated from the exertions of a Methodist 
preacher who had been laboring in the sabbath school 
cause in Wales ; and that in America they had been 
taught among the Methodists, amidst storms of reproach 
and persecution, long before they were ever thought of 
by other denominations. These facts were amply sup- 
ported by irrefutable testimony, and they therefore 
served to put the question at rest respecting the origin 
15* 3 

346 A HISTORY OF THE [1827. 

and permanent establishment of sabbath schools in 
England, and their subsequent progress in this country.* 

That the formation of this society has had a most 
happy eflect upon the interests of the rising generation, 
particularly those under the intiuence of our own deno- 
mination, there can be no doubt. As many of our 
people were not pleased with the movements of the 
American Union, and some who were connected with it 
felt dissatisfied in that relation, they had not entered so 
heartily nor so generally as was desirable into the work 
of sabbath school instruction ; but now, every objection 
arising from these sources being removed, a general 
and almost simultaneous action in favor of this important 
cause commenced throughout our ranks, and it has 
continued steadily increasing to the present time, exert- 
ing a hallowing influence upon all who come under its 
control and direction. 

And we rejoice to know that the American Union, as 
well as those existing separately among other denomi- 
nations, has exerted, and is still exerting, a similar in- 
fluence on all who come within the sphere of its and 
their operations. Let them be conducted in the fear of 
God, under the superintendence of men and women 
who enjoy and exemplify experimental and practical 
godliness, and they shall form an efTectual barrier 
against the overflowings of infidelity and its kindred 
errors and vices, and continue as a lofty beacon to di- 
rect the youthful mind into the channel of gospel truth 
and holiness. The mere question of their origin, how- 
ever honorable it may be to their originator, is lost 
amidst the blaze of gloiy which shall surround the 
churches by the conscientious labors of those who have 

* See Methodist Magazine for 1828, p. 349. 


conducted and shall continue to conduct them forward 
in the spirit of Him who said, " Suffer Uttle children to 
come unto me, and forbid them not, for of such is the 
kingdom of God," and who '• out of the mouths of babes 
and sucklings hath perfected praise." The high appro- 
bation of God is to be prized above a thousand wreaths 
of mere human laurels. The latter will fade and die, 
while the former will cause the individual on whom it 
falls to bloom in immortal vigor around the throne 
above. Instead, therefore, of contending about the fact 
to whom the honor belongs of beginning this mighty 
machinery which is performing such wonders of mercy 
to the rising generation, let us bless God for raising up 
such a man as Raikes, for such a powerful patron as 
Wesley^ and for inspiring so many of his servants to 
exert their strength to perpetuate this means of doing 
good from one generation to another. 

The Cherokee mission, within the bounds of the 
Tennessee conference, was extending its influence 
among that nation with encouraging success. Last 
year there were four missionaries appointed to labor 
here, who formed regular circuits, and divided the na- 
tive converts, now consisting of about four hundred, into 
classes, and furnished them \vith the ordinances of the 
gospel. A native preacher, by the name of Turtle 
Fields, had been raised up, who became eminently use- 
ful to his brethren, as he could speak to them in their 
own language of the " wonderful works of God." 

^Though dt was the practice of all our missionaries 
who were sent among the aboriginal tribes, first of all 
to preach to them the gospel of Christ, yet when they 
had embraced it, and became reformed in heart and life, 
they generally forsook their former mode of hving, and 


348 A HISTORY OF THE [1827. 

entered upon the arts of civilized man. Indeed, this 
was the secret of our success. Every attempt wliich 
had been made to reform the savages of our wilder- 
nesses, by introducing the arts of civilization Jirst^ and 
by initiating them into the knowledge of letters before 
they were converted to Christianity, has failed of suc- 
cess. Instead of pursuing this round-about method to 
bring them to the knowledge of God and of his Son 
Jesus Christ, our missionaries have addressed them- 
selves directly to their hearts, recited to them the simple 
narrative "^f the life, the sufferings, the death, and the 
resurrection of Jesus Christ, and impressed upon their 
minds the grand truth, that all this was for them, and 
that, in believing it heartily, even they should be " saved 
from their sins." This method, and this only, has 
taken effect. A believing knowledge of the love of God 
in Christ Jesus has melted them into tenderness ; and 
the light of divine truth, thus shining upon their hearts, 
has revealed to them their wretchedness as sinners, and 
brought them as humble penitents to the foot of the 
cross, where they have waited in humble supplication 
until Christ made them free. And then, after being 
thus liberated from the bondage of sin, and brought 
into the liberties of the gospel, they have been con- 
ducted with the utmost ease to the practice of the do- 
mestic arts, and to all the usages of civilized life.^ 

This was the case with these converted Cherokees 
and others. " The traveler," says the report of the 
committee of the Tennessee conference for this year, 
"through their settlements, observing cottages erecting, 
regular towns building, farms cultivated, the sabbath 
regularly observed, and almost an entire change in the 
character and pursuits of the people, is ready to ask, 


with surprise, Whence this change ? The answer is, 
The Lord Jesus, in answer to the prayers of thousands 
of his people, is receiving the accomplishment of the 
promise, I rvill give thee the heathen for thine inhe- 
ritance. Here is a nation at our door, our neighbors," 
(once) "remarkable for their ferocity and ignorance, 
now giving the most striking evidence of the utility of 
missionary exertions." Two houses of worship had 
been erected, one of which, having been consumed by 
fire, was rebuilt this year by the natives themselves, 
without any expense to the mission. 

For the benefit of the youth schools were established, 
and the children soon gave evidence of their capacity 
and wiUingness to learn, two of whom gave promise 
of usefulness as preachers of the gospel to their own 
nation. These were placed under the special care of 
the Rev. William M'Mahon, the superintendent of the 
mission. So evident was the change which had been 
wrought in the hearts and lives of these people, that 
even those who had no interest in the mission were 
constrained to acknowledge the hand of God. So 
rapidly, indeed, did the work spread, that in 1828 the 
number of converted natives had increased to eight 
hundred, and seven missionaries were employed in that 
interesting field of labor, including Turtle Fields, who 
was now eminently distinguished for his deep piety, 
and diligence in promoting the interests of the mission. 
The white missionaries were also greatly assisted by 
another converted Cherokee, a young man of promising 
talents and piety, who acted as an interpreter to the 
circuit preacher. 

A new mission was begun this year among another 
branch of the Mississaugas, who resided on Snake and 


350 A HISTORY OF THE [1827. 

Yellow Head Islands, in Lake Simcoc, Upper Canada. 
The whole body of Indians who resided here consisted 
of six hundred, the largest body of any who sopke the 
Chippeway language this side of Lake Huron. Some 
of these, hearing a discourse from one of our preachers, 
became deeply impressed with the leading truths of 
Christianity, and expressed an earnest desire to have a 
missionary sent to instruct them. Accordingly some 
benevolent members of our Church went and established 
a sabbath school among them. By this simple means 
more than forty were reclaimed from their pagan super- 
stitions. Such was the success of this mission, after 
being supplied with a regular missionary, that in 1829 
there were four hundred and twenty-nine under reli- 
gious instruction, three hundred and fifty of whom were 
orderly members of the Church ; one hundred of their 
children were taught in two separate schools, by a male 
and female teacher. A school-house and parsonage 
were built on Snake Island, and a mission-house on 
Yellow Head Island, and the converts were gradually 
brought to attend to agricultural and domestic duties. 

The other aboriginal missions, heretofore mentioned, 
were still improving in religion and morals, as well as 
in the arts of civilized hfe, and great was the interest 
manifested by the Christian church in their behalf. 
This year, however, the Wyandot mission suffered a 
great loss in the death of Beticeen-the-logs^ one of their 
most eminent chiefs, and an eloquent and able advocate 
of Christianity. And as he was a chief man among 
them, and, after his conversion, had exerted a powerful 
influence in favor of the mission, it is presumed that the 
reader will be pleased with the following particulars of 
his life and death, which the author of the History of 


the Missions under the care of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church prepared for and pubHshed in that work. 

" He was born, it is said, in the neighborhood of Lower 
Sandusky, about the year 1780.* His father was of the 
Seneca, and his mother a Wyandot of the Bear tribe^ from 
whom he derived his name, Between-the-logs, the name 
which they give to a hear, signifying to crouch between the 
logs, because this animal, under peculiar circumstances, 
lies down between logs ; hence the name Between-the-logs, 
a literal translation of the Bear tribe, was a distinctive ap- 
pellation of the tribe to which he belonged, and of which 
he became a chief 

" As he acted a conspicuous part in the nation, and 
finally became very eminently useful in the cause of Chris- 
tianity, the following brief account of his life and death 
will doubtless be acceptable to the reader. When about 
nine years of age his father and mother separated, and 
Between-the-logs remained with his father until the death 
of the latter, when he returned to his mother among the 
Wyandots. Soon after this he joined the Indian warriors 
who were defeated by General Wayne. His prompt obe- 
dience to the chief, his enterprising disposition, and the 
faithful discharge of his duties, called him into public no- 
tice, and finally raised him to be a chief of the nation ; 
and the soundness of his judgment, his good memory, and 
his great powers of eloquence, procured for him the office 
of chief speaker, and the confidential adviser of the head 

" When about twenty-five years of age, he was sent to 
ascertain the doctrines and pretensions of a reputed Seneca 
prophet, whose imposture he soon detected, and some 
years after he went on a similar errand to a noted Shaw- 

* So it is stated in the published account of his life ; but it 
is beheved he must have been born somewhat earlier. 


352 A HISTORY OF THE [1827. 

nee prophet, a brother of the famous Tecumseh, with 
wlioiii he stayed nearly a year ; and being fully convinced 
himself, he was enabled to convince others, that their 
pretensions to the spirit of prophecy were all a deception. 

*' At the commencement of hostilities between this 
country and Great Britain, in 1812, in company with the 
head chief of the nation, he attended a great council of 
the northern Indians, collected to deliberate on the ques- 
tion whether they should join the British against the 
Americans. Here, although powerfully opposed, and 
even threatened with death if he did not join them, 
Between-the-logs utterly refused to take up arms against 
his American brethren, and exerted all his powers to 
dissuade the Wyandots from involving themselves in this 
quarrel. Soon after, he and the majority of the warriors 
belonging to the Wyandots joined the American standard, 
and accompanied General Harrison in his invasion of 
Upper Canada. At the conclusion of the war he settled 
with his brother at Upper Sandusky, and, like most of the 
savages, indulged himself in intemperance. In one of 
his fits of intoxication he unfortunately murdered his 
wife ; but, on coming to himself, the recollection of this 
horrid deed made such an impression on his mind, that he 
almost entirely abandoned the use of ardent spirits ever 

"In 1817 Between-the-logs had an opportunity of dis- 
playing his love of justice in behalf of his nation. The 
Wyandots being persuaded by intriguing men to sign a 
treaty for the sale of their lands, contrary to his earnest 
expostulations, he, in company with some others, under- 
took a journey to Washington on their own responsibility, 
without consulting any one. When introduced to the 
secretary of war, the secretary observed to them that he 
had received no notice of their coming from any of the 
government agents. To this Between-the logs replied, 


with noble freedom, ' We got up and came of ourselves 
— we believed the great road was free to us.' He plead 
the cause of the Indians with such forcible eloquence 
before the heads of departments at Washington, that they 
obtained an enlargement of territory, and an increase of 
their annuities. 

" Of his having embraced the gospel, and the aid he 
rendered to the missionaries to extend its influence among 
his people, an account has already been given. His un- 
derstanding being enlightened by divine truth, and his 
heart moved with compassion for the salvation of his 
countrymen, he exerted all his powers to bring them to 
the knowledge of the truth ; and such was the success of 
his efforts, that his brethren gave him license, first to ex- 
hort, and then to preach. Some of his speeches before 
the Ohio conference, which he attended several times, 
did honor equally to his head and heart, and powerfully 
enlisted the feelings of the conference in behalf of the 

" In the year 1826, he and Mononcue accompanied Mr. 
Finley on a visit from Sandusky to New- York, where they 
attended several meetings, and among others the anniver- 
sary of the Female Missionary Society of New-York. 
Here Between-the-logs spoke with great fire and anima- 
tion, relating his own experience of divine things, and 
gave a brief narrative of the work of God among his peo- 
ple. Though he addressed the audience through an inter- 
preter who spoke the English language but imperfectly, 
yet his speech had a powerful effect upon those who 
heard him. His voice was musical, his gestures graceful, 
significant, and dignified, and his whole demeanor bespoke 
a soul full of lofty ideas and full of God. On one occasion 
he remarked, that when at home he had been accustomed 
to be addressed by his brethren, but that since he had 
come here he had heard nothing that he understood, and 

354 A HISTORY OF THE [1827. 

added, ' I wonder if the people understand one another, for 
I see but little effect produced by what is said.' After a 
few words spoken in reply to this remark, by way of ex- 
planation and apologj', he kneeled down and offered a 
most fervent prayer to Almighty God. In this journey, as 
they passed through the country, they visited Philadel- 
phia, Baltimore, and several of the intervening villages, 
and held meetings, and took up collections for the benefit 
of the mission. This tended to excite a missionary spirit 
among the people, and everywhere Between-the-logs was 
hailed as a monument of divine mercy and grace, and as 
a powerful advocate for the cause of Christianity ; and he, 
together with those who accompanied him, left a most 
favorable impression behind them of the good effects of 
the gospel on the savage mind and heart, 

" It was very evident to all who beheld him that he 
could not long continue an inhabitant of this world. Al- 
ready the consumption was making fearful inroads upon 
his constitution, and his continual labors in the gospel 
contributed to hasten its progress to its fatal termination. 
Very soon after his return to his nation he was confined 
to his bed. Being asked respecting the foundation of his 
hope, he replied, ' It is in the mercy of God in Christ.' 
' I asked him,' says Mr, Gilruth, who was at this time the 
missionary, ' of his evidence ;' he said, ' It is the comfort 
of the Spirit.' ' I asked him if he was afraid to die ;' he 
said, ' I am not.' ' Are you resigned to go V He replied, 
* I have felt some desires of the world, but they are all 
gone, and I now feel willing to die or live, as God sees 
best.' The day before he died he was visited by Mr. 
Finley, to whom he expressed his unshaken confidence in 
God, and a firm hope, through Jesus Christ, of eternal 
life. He finally died in peace, leaving his nation to mourn 
the loss of a chief and a minister of Jesus Christ to whom 


they felt themselves much indebted for his many exertions, 
both for their temporal and spiritual prosperity." 

Some new settlements in Upper Canada, which had 
not hitherto been supphed with the word of life, were 
this year visited by the Rev. Georg-e Pool, as a mission- 
ary ; these formed the Richmond mission ; and 
Mr. Poole succeeded in procuring* twelve preaching- 
places, and two hundred Church members were re- 
turned on the Minutes for the next year. 

The work of God in the older circuits and stations 
was this year very generally in a prosperous state. 
Among other places which had been visited with the 
reviving- influences of God's Spirit, the city of New- 
York shared in a considemble degree. Last year a 
new church had been erected in Willett-street, which 
was dedicated to the service of Almighty God on May 
the 7th by Bishop M'Kendree, and was now well filled 
with attentive hearers. The congregcition in this place 
had been raised chiefly by the labors of local preachers, 
assisted occasionally by the preachers stationed in New- 
York, who held their meetings in a private room, then 
in a school-room, when in 1819 they occupied a mis- 
sion-house in Broome-street, which had been built by 
the mission board of the Presbyterian Church, for the 
purpose of instructing profligate females ; but this plan 
not succeeding according to the benevolent design of its 
patrons, the house was rented to our trustees, and the 
appointment was taken into the regular plan, and sup- 
plied by the stationed preachers. 

God honored this place by giving sanction to the la- 
bors of his servants ; and in 1823 a gracious work com- 
menced, which had continued with more or less success 
until the time of which we now speak. Since the new 


356 A HISTORY OF THE [1827 

house had been occupied the work of reformation had 
much increased, so that about one hundred and twenty 
had been added to the church from the month of June 
to February. Gracious seasons of refreshing were also 
blessing the other churches in the city during the year, 
so tliat about three hundred and sixty were added to 
the Cliurch, including white and colored. 

It seems that very considerable accessions had been 
made to the church in the city of New-Haven during 
the years of 1826 and 1827, under the labors of the 
Rev. Heman Bangs ; and as this is a very important 
position in the state of Connecticut, perhaps a short 
narrative of the work in this place may not be unac- 
ceptable to the reader. New-Haven, indeed, may be 
considered the Athens of this part of New-England, 
being delightfully situated at the head of a convenient 
harbor, on a sandy plain, just at the termination of 
those high bluffs called " East and West Rocks," which 
rise to the height of about four hundred feet, from the 
summit of which the admirer of natural scenery, beau- 
tified by the works of art, may have an extensive and 
charming view of the surrounding country, the city, the 
harbor, and the neighboring villages. Here, amidst 
artificial groves, which render New-Haven one of the 
iiiost rural and pleasant cities on the continent, Yale 
College rears its stately buildings, together with churches 
and other public as well as private edifices. 

We have already seen that the Rev. Jesse Lee, as 
early as 1789, visited this place ; but the first class was 
formed by the Rev. Daniel Ostrander, who entered the 
traveling ministry in 1793, and has continued from 
that time to this in the itinerant field. This was in 
the year 1795 ; and William Thacher and Pember 


Jocelyn were among the first who joined the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in New-Haven ; the former joined 
the traveling connection in 1797, and has continued a 
faithful laborer to this day ; and the latter became a 
local preacher, and continued, amidst much opposition, in 
the early days of Methodism, faithful until death. The 
first heralds of the cross who visited New-Haven found 
a resting-place in the house of Mr. Gilbert, who, though 
dead, yet speaketh in his children and grand-children, 
who are following the steps of their sire in the way to 
heaven, being members of the same Church of which 
he l^ecame an early member and supporter. 

But though Methodism had this early beginning in 
New-Haven, the number of its disciples was few, and 
they remained in a feeble state until they were detached 
fiom the circuit and organized as a separate station in 
1813, and even for some years after their inciease was 
but small. In the succeeding year the Rev. Gad Smith, 
a young preacher of good talents, remarkable for the 
purity of his mind, great simplicity of intention, and 
fidelity in his work, was stationed in New-Haven, and 
he brought the members into gospel order, built thera 
up in love, and laid a foundation for their future pros- 
perity. Such a laborer, indeed, is rarely found — so 
prudent, so entirely devoted to his work, and so indefa- 
tigable in his endeavors to do good to others. Bu(, 
notwithstanding his pious labors and prudent conduct, 
the society did not rise into much strength until they 
succeeded, in 1821 and 1822, by the laudable exertions 
of the Rev. William Thacher, in building them a com- 
modious house of worship, which was completed and 
dedicated to God in the spring of 1822, near the termi- 
nation of Mr. Thacher's labors. During the three 


35S A HISTORY OF THE [1827. 

years, namely, from 1819 to 1822, the society had in- 
creased from thirty-six whites and thirty-five colored to 
two hundred whites and five colored ;* and they had 
steadily persevered, enlarging- their borders and extend- 
ing their influence, until this year they numbered two 
hundreil and sixteen whites and two colored. They 
had been blessed with several powerful revivals, and a 
considerable accession of members, but the constant 
emigration to the west had prevented a proportionate 
increase to their membership. 

Revivals of religion were quite prevalent this year in 
various places ; but as I have heretofore so fully nar- 
rated the progress of the work, particularly its com- 
mencement in any given place, it is judged inexpedient 
to enter into further details in this place. The results 
may be seen by a reference to the general increase. 

An academy had been commenced at Readfield, un- 
der the patronage of the Maine conference, with whicli 
manual labor was connected, embracing agricultural 
and mechanical arts. A benevolent individual conse- 
crated a portion of his wealth, ten thousand dollars, to- 
ward the founding of this institution, and it received 
the sanction of the state by an act of incorporation, 
under the title of " The Maine Wesleyan Seminary." 
Here, by means of manual labor, the physical as well 
as mental and moral powers of the student are trained 
to industry, and thus that sickly constitution, so often 
the effect of severe study in youth, is prevented, and 
the " piercing wit and active limb*' become mutual aids 
to each other. In addition to a thorough English edu- 

* The reason of this decrease of colored members is, that 
that they had joined the secession which has been before 


cation, a regular classical course is pursued, by which 
the student is fitted to enter college, or upon the more 
active duties of life. 

Sixty-three had located, seventy-seven returned su- 
pernumerary, eighty-seven superannuated, one had 
withdrawn, and six had been expelled. The following 
had died : — Archibald IVTElroy^ John Walker, James 
R. Keach, Arthur 1ST C lure, Ellison Taylor, Philip 
Bruce, James Smith, John Collins, John Creamer, 
tSeth Crowell, John Shaio, and Freeborn Garrettson. 

In writing some of these names, we can hardly avoid 
the reflection, how fast, one after another, the aged 
veterans of Methodism, who saw it in its first glory, and 
had contributed so much, by their labors and sacrifices, 
to lay the foundation for its future prosperity, were re- 
moved from the earthly to the heavenly tabernacle. 
Had 1 the time, how I should dehght to linger along 
their path, mark their progress, often amidst storms of 
persecution, tears of sorrow, mingled indeed with shouts 
of triumph, while they held up the banner of the cross 
to the listening multitudes who hung on their lips for 
instruction ! Those, indeed, were the chivalrous days 
of Methodism, when Bruce and Garrettson, often side 
by side, and then again in separate and distant fields 
of action, were fighting the battles of their Lord, almost 
single handed, and crying, with a loud and distinct 
voice, to sinners to repent and give glory to God. Such 
were the men, and such their work, that their names 
will be transmitted to posterity, surrounded with that 
halo of glory which can be won only by those w^ho 
have devoted themselves to so noble a work with such a 
disinterested zeal as shall put to silence that caviling 
criticism which would transmute a human infirmity 


360 A HISTORY OF THE (1827. 

into a moral delinquency, and bury real excellence be- 
neath the rubbish of those imperfectiong which are 
inseparable from human beings. For such cavilingg 
we have no fellowship. But for the stern and uncom- 
promising virtues which adorned and fortified the souls 
of those devoted men of God, several of whose names, 
accompanied with sketches of their labors and charac- 
ters, have already been recorded, who first stood on the 
w^alls of our Zion, a veneration is felt which it is diffi- 
cult either to repress or express. Who does not feel the 
kindlings of gratitude to God for raising up such men, 
qualifying them for their work, directing and sustaining 
them in its performance, and then taking them to their 
final reward ? 

We trace Philip Bruce back to the persecuted Hu- 
guenots, whose ancestors fled to this country to avoid 
the fury of Louis XIV. and his bigoted counsellors, who 
drove those devoted men from the kingdom merely be- 
cause they would not bow the knee to a wafer god, 
and acknowledge the pope as the infallible head of the 
church. His ancestors settled in North Carolina, where 
Philip was born,* and in early life, by the assiduity of 
a pious mother, he was taught the fear of God, experi- 
enced a change of heart, and, with her, connected him- 
self with the Methodist societies. In 1781, three years 
before the organization of our Church, he entered the 
itinerant field of gospel labor, in which he continued 
faithful until the day of his death. V'ov forty -five years 
did he stand as a sentinel on the walls of our Zion, 
giving a faithful warning, to all who came within the 

* It is much regretted that the day and year of his birth, 
and his age at the time of his death, are not given in his 


sound of his voice, of the dangers of a life of sin, and 
encouraging those who were attempting to "flee the 
wrath to come," to seek for shelter under the wing 
of God's mercy. During the whole of this time, some 
periods of which were seasons of no little peril and suf- 
fering, Philip Bruce kept his eye fixed steadily upon the 
" mark of the prize of his high calling," nor deviated 
from the straightforward path, until he happily reached 
the goal for which he run. He traveled extensively on 
various circuits, presided over several districts, and was 
sometimes spoken of as a suitable person to fill the office 
of a superintendent ; and wherever he traveled, or w^hat- 
ever station he filled, he won the confidence of his bre- 
thren by the honest purpose of his heart, the blameless- 
ness of his life, and by the ability and zeal with which 
he discharged his high and holy duties. 

He was not naturally fluent as a speaker. Consi- 
dered, therefore, simply as a pulpit orator, he had many 
defects, often hesitating, as though he hardly knew 
how to give utterance to his thoughts. Yet the evident 
sincerity of his heart, manifested by the purity of his 
life, his knowledge of the sacred Scriptures, his sound 
understanding, and prudence of conduct, gave weight 
to his words, and commanded attention and respect. 

If I were to select any traits of character, by which 
to distinguish him among others, I should say they 
were meekness and diffideiice. These seemed to shine 
through all his actions, to sit prominently on his coun- 
tenance, and to dictate and guide him in all he said and 
did. He thus imbibed the sacred lesson taught by his 
Lord and Master, " Learn of me, for I am meek and 
lowly of heart." 

In his public addresses he was wont to interrupt the 
Vol. III.— 16 

362 A HISTORY OF THE [l82t* 

regular chain of discourse by putting up a fervent eja- 
culation to God for divine aid, and for a blessing upon 
his labors — a practice which was very common among 
the older Methodist preachers, arising, no doul^t, from a 
feeling sense of their dependence on God for help. 

The late Dr. William Phoebus, speaking of Philip 
Bmce, remarked, that once, while hearing him preach, 
he began to hesitate, as if at a loss what to say next, 
and then broke forth in prayer, and finally said to the 
people, " I beg of you to pray for me, for you know that 
I cannot preach unless assisted from above." This 
broke him loose from his embarrassment, and he went 
on with his discourse, to the astonishment of all present. 
At other times there was an air of pleasantness — not 
trifling — arising, apparently, from the buoyancy of his 
spirits, which made him extremely agreeable to those 
intimately acquainted with him, but which sometimes 
presented him unfavorably to others. With him, how- 
ever, all was sincerity, aiming constantly to benefit his 
fellow-men by the best means he could select. 

In 1817, with much reluctance, as though unwilling 
to acknowledge himself outdone by any, he took a 
superannuated relation, and removed soon after to Elk 
river, in the state of Tennessee, and spent the remain- 
der of his days there with his aged mother and his 
brethren. Ascertaining that it was his intention to 
move to that part of the country, his brethren in the 
Virginia confeience, many of whom had been raised 
under his fostering care, affectionately and earnestly 
requested him to remain among them, which, however, 
he respectfully declined. And nothing can more strik- 
ingly show the strength of their affection for him, and 
evince the high estimation in which he was held, than 


the fact, that not long before his death the Virginia 
conference sent him an invitation to pay them a friendly 
visit, that they might once more mingle their prayers 
and praises together. This also he declined, in the 
following words : — 

" Many affectionate ties bind me to the Virginia confer- 
ence. Your expressions of good-will have awakened the 
tenderest friendships of my soul ; but it is very probable 
that I shall never see you again ; for though in my zeal I 
sometimes try to preach, my preaching is like old Priam's 
dart — thrown by an arm enfeebled with age. Indeed, my 
work is well nigh done, and I am waiting in glorious ex- 
pectation for my change to come ; for I have not labored 
and suffered for naught, nor folloiued a cunningly devised 

Not long after, his expectation, in regard to his de- 
parture to another world, was realized. On the 10th 
of May, 1826, at the house of his brothei-, Mr. Joel 
Bruce, who lived in the county of Giles, Tennessee, 
this tried veteran of Christ died in the triumph of faith, 
surrounded by his friends, sealing by his dying testi- 
mony the truth and power of that religion which he 
had recommended to others for forty-five 3^ears. 

The name of Freeborn Garrettson is familiar to 
most of my readers. Of the early days of his ministry, 
and of the sufferings he endured in the cause of his 
Divine Master, as \vell as his success in winning souls 
to Christ, an ample account has been given in the pre- 
ceding volumes of this History ; and those who wish 
to see these things in a more full and minute detail, 
are referred to his biography, which has been pubhshed 
and extensively circulated. 

He may be said to have been one of the early 


364 A HISTORY OF THE [1827. 

pioneers of Methodism in this country, for he joined the 
itinerant connection in 1775, when only twenty-three 
years of age, and was employed for many years in 
forming new circuits and districts, in which he was 
eminently useful. At the time of his admission into 
the itinerant ranks, in 1775, the number of preachers 
was only 19, and members in the societies 3,148; and 
at the time of his death, in 1827, these had increased 
to 1,642 preachers, and Church members 421,105 ; and 
perhaps no individual preacher contributed more, if in- 
deed as much, to promote this spread of the work, than 
the Rev. Freeborn Garrettson. Young, vigorous, unre- 
servedly devoted to God, and exceedingly zealous for 
the salvation of souls, wherever he went he carried the 
flame of divine love with him, breathing it out in the 
most pointed and earnest appeals to the consciences of 
sinners, and in the soothing words of promise and en- 
couragement to mourning penitents. Nor was he less 
earnest in pressing believers forward in the path of 
humble obedience, that they might attain the heights 
and depths of redeeming love. 

From his entrance upon this work until 1784 he 
traveled extensively through the states of North and 
South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland — his native state 
• — Delaware, Pennsylvania, and New- Jersey ; and in 
all these states he preached the word with peculiar suc- 
cess, thousands hanging upon his lips with eager atten- 
tion, and hundreds also bearing witness to the truths 
he delivered by the reformation which was eflfected in 
their hearts and lives through his instrumentality. And 
though his enemies thought to confine him in the pri- 
sons to which they committed him " for the testimony 
of Jesus," they were disappointed in their expectation 


by the overruling providence of God, so that even their 
wrath " was made to praise him." In those places 
where he so labored and suffered, the name of Freeborn 
Garrettson was long remembered by many of the first 
generation of Methodists, associated with the grateful 
recollection that he was their spiritual father ; and on 
his subsequent visits, when time had wrinkled his brow, 
and they had grown old in the service of their Lord and 
Master, the fires of their first love were enkindled afresh, 
and they mingled their songs of thanksgiving together 
for the " former and the latter rains" of divine grace. 
How sweet were these recollections ! 

He was one of the little veteran band that so nobly 
withstood the innovators upon Wesleyan Methodism in 
1778 and 1779, when it required all the united wisdom, 
prudence, forbearance, and cautious foresight of Asbury 
and his associates, who stood by him, to check the fro- 
ward zeal of those who would run before they were 
sent to lay on hands suddenly, and to administer the 
ordinances without proper authority. He stood firm to 
his purpose, and assisted in keeping the ship to her 
moorings, until the Christmas conference furnished her 
with suitable rigging, and set her afloat, properly 
manned and oflicered, with well-authenticated certifi- 
cates of their character and authority to act as her 
commanders and conductors. 

Garrettson was also among those memorable men to 
whom Dr. Coke first unfolded the plan devised by 
Wesley for the organization of the Methodist societies 
in America into a church. At the request of Asbury 
and Coke, he " went," says the latter, " like an arrow," 
to call the preachers together in the city of Baltimore on 
the 25th of December, 1784, where they matured those 


366 A HISTORY OF THE [1827. 

plans and adopted those measures w hich have proved 
such a lasting blessing to the Methodist community in 
this country. In the midst of this assembly, which, 
though few in numbers, was composed of some of the 
choicest spirits of the age, stood Garrettson, young, ar- 
dent, full of zeal for God, and giving his counsel in 
favor of the system of rules, orders, and ordinances sub- 
mitted to them by Coke, under the sanction of Wesley. 
With Asbury, Dickens, Reed, Gill, Pedicord, Ware, 
Tunnell, Phoebus, and others, of precious memory, fa- 
thers in our Israel, he commingled his prayers and 
counsels, and thus contributed to lay, deep and wide, 
the foundation of that spiritual edifice which, by the 
blessing of God on their labors, even he lived to see 
reared in beauty and glory, and under whose roof many 
a wanderer has sought shelter and rest. 

He was also the fii-st Methodist preacher in this 
country who went on a foreign mission. Having re- 
ceived the order of an elder at the Christmas conference, 
and being solicited by Dr. Coke to embark on a mission 
to Nova Scotia, he cheerfully relinquished home and 
kindred, and went to that distant province of the British 
empire to carry the glad tidings of salvation to the lost. 
Here, amid summer's heat and wintei-'s cold, and some- 
times hunger and thirst, he continued about two years, 
traveling extensively, preaching the word wath diligence, 
and rejoicing over penitent sinners who were returning to 
God ; and such was their affection and respect for his 
character, that, had they won his consent, they would 
most gladly have retained him as their permanent su- 
perintendent, and that, too, under the sanction of both 
Wesley and Coke. 

But his Lord had other work for him to do. Not 


long after his return from Nova Scotia, namely, in 
1788, Mr. Garrettson penetrated through the country 
north of the city of New- York, on both sides the Hud- 
son river, where the voice of a Methodist preacher was 
never before heard. Here, in the character of a presid- 
ing elder, he gave direction to the labors of several young 
preachers, who spread themselves through the country, 
north and south, reaching even to Vermont, proclaiming, 
in all places where they went, the unsearchable riches 
of Christ. By these labors a foundation was laid for 
that work of God in those more northern states of the 
confederacy which has since spread so gloriously among 
the people. 

But we cannot follow him in all his useful move- 
ments, from one year to another, through the different 
parts of the country. Suffice it to say here, that he 
continued with unabated ardor and diligence in his 
Master's work until the year 1817, when, contrary to 
his wishes, for he seemed loath to believe himself una- 
ble to perform efficient service, he was returned a super- 
numerary. This, however, by no means abridged his 
labors. Though cut loose from the regular work, he 
still pursued the path of usefulness, making occasional 
excursions east and west, north and south, exhibiting 
the same fervor of spirit, the same breathing after im- 
mortality and eternal life, by which he had ever been 

In 1791 Mr. Garrettson saw fit to exchange the sin- 
gle for a married life, and his choice fell upon a woman, 
Miss Catharine Livingston, of Rhinebeck, N. Y., who 
was every way fitted, both fiom education and piety, to 
assist him in the grand work in which he had engaged. 
This also furnished him with means to preach the gos- 


368 A HISTORV OF THK [1827. 

pel without fee or reward, as well as to exhibit the hos- 
pitalities of a liberal mind, and thereby to fulfil the 
apostolic precept, " For a bishop" (or elder) " must be 
given to hospitality." From the time of his settlement 
at Rhinebeck, where he located his family, his house 
and heart were open to receive and welcome the mes- 
sengers of God ; and around his hospitable board have 
they often, from year to year, mingled their friendly 
souls in conversation, prayer, and praise; nor could 
these guests depart without carrying with them grateful 
recollections of the gospel simplicity, courtesy, and libe- 
rality with which they had been entertained. 

But the time at last arrived when this man of God, 
one of the patriarchs of American Methodism, must re- 
sign up his breath to God who gave it. In the seventy- 
sixth year of his age. and fifty-second of his ministry, 
he ended his days in peace, surrounded by his friends, 
and consoled by the hope of everlasting life. 

In contemplating the character of Mr. Garrettson, 
w^e may behold a cluster of those excellences which 
dignify and adorn the man and the minister, and which 
qualify him for usefulness in the world. But that 
which eminently distinguished him, both in public and 
private, was the simplicity, or singleness of heart, 
with which he deported himself on all occasions. This 
sterling virtue kept him at an equal distance from the 
corrodings of jealousy and the repinings of suspicion. 
A single desire to know the good and the right way, to 
walk in it himself, and induce others to follow his ex- 
ample, most evidently characterized his mind, and 
guided him in all his proceedings. 

This singleness of heart, which had its seat in pure 
love to God an(i man, first led him forth in search of 


the lost sheep of the house of Israel, sustained him 
under his labors and trials, kept him humble in the 
midst of his prosperity, and in seasons of popularity 
among the friends of the cause in which he was en- 
gaged. No one could be long in his company, nor 
often hear him preach, witliout perceiving this honest 
simplicity of intention shining out among the other 
graces of his mind, guiding and actuating the entire 
man in all his movements. And this arose from the 
purity of his heart and the sanctity of his life. For no 
man, I presume to say, ever gave more irrefutable evi- 
dence of the holiness of his heart and the blamelessness 
of his life, from the time of his entrance on his Chris- 
tian course, about fifty-two years of which were spent 
as a public ambassador of Christ, than Freeborn Gar- 
rettson. What a living and speaking comment this 
upon the pure doctrines of Jesus Christ ! 

His action in the pulpit was not graceful, though it 
was solemn and impressive. His sermons were some- 
times enlivened by anecdotes of a character calculated 
to illustrate the points he was aiming to estabhsh. He 
was likewise deficient in systematic arrangement and 
logical precision. This deficiency, how^ever, was more 
than made up by the pointedness of his appeals to the 
conscience, the aptness of his illustrations from Scrip- 
ture, the manner in which he explained and enforced 
the depth of Christian experience, and the holy fervor 
of spirit with which he delivered himself on all occa- 
sions. Like most other extemporaneous speakers, his 
mind sometimes seemed barren, and he failed, appa- 
rently for want of words, to express that on which his 
understanding appeared to be laboring. At other times 
his heart appeared full, his mind luminous, and he 
16* 3 

370 A HISTORY OF THE fl827. 

would pour fortli a stream of gospel truth which abun- 
dantly refreshed the souls of God's people with the 
"living waters." And although his gesticulations were 
somewhat awkward, and his voice at times unmusical, 
especially w^hen raised to a high key, there was that in 
his manner and matter which always rendered his 
preaching entertaining and useful ; and seldom did the 
hearer tire under his administration of the word of life 
— point, pathos, and variety generally characterizing 
all his discourses. 

Mr. Garrettson was a great friend to all our institu- 
tions, literary and religious. To the American Bible 
Society, and to our missionary and tract societies, he 
was a liberal contributor and a firm advocate. Nor 
were the wornnDut preachers, their widows and orphans, 
forgotten in his benefactions. When acting in the ca- 
pacity of a presiding elder, I have known him receive, 
and then give away to some poor preacher, his wife, or 
some dependent w^idow, his share of the quarterly allow- 
ance, as well as make special efforts among our more 
wealthy members and friends to replenish the funds 
instituted for these needy and deserving objects. 

But he has gone to his reward ; and this record is 
made as a small tribute of respect to one who is dear 
in the recollections of many, in w^hose friendship the 
winter had the honor and happiness of sharing, whose 
example he would remember to imitate and transmit to 
others, that they may profit by calHng it to recollection 
w^ien he who now writes shall mingle his ashes with 
all that remains earthly of Garrettson, and his spirit, 
redeemed and purified by the blood of the Lamb, shall 
mingle — O, may it be so ! — with his around the throne 
of God for ever. 


Two of the others who had taken their flight to 
another world deserve a passing notice. 

James Smithy of the Baltimore conference, when he 
ended his race, was comparatively young in the minis- 
try. At the age of forty-three or forty-four, after having 
discharged the duties of an itinerant minister for twenty- 
four years, he departed in great peace of mind, in the 
city of Baltimore, surrounded by his Christian friends 
and brethren. 

He was a man of strong powers of mind, of a warm 
heart, and a cultivated intellect. His natural vivacity 
sometimes gave place to deep gloom, which almost un- 
fitted him for the duties of his station, and made him a 
little burdensome to his friends. These temporary de- 
pressions of spirit, however, were but occasional spots 
which appeared to obscure the brilliancy of a mind well 
stored with useful knowledge, and to oppress a heart 
generally overflowing with the kindliest feelings toward 
his brethren and friends. 

As a minister of Jesus Christ, he was a workman 
that needed not to be ashamed. He rose with the dignity 
of the subject which he attempted to explain, and some- 
times spoke with an eloquence, energy, and pathos, 
which, while it delighted the hearer, filled him with 
adoring gratitude to that God who had given his ser- 
vant the power thus to persuade sinners to be reconciled 
to God. He was therefore powerful in the pulpit, and 
strenuous in his endeavors to advance the cause of 
Jesus Christ. 

In the midst of the discussions which arose on the 
appointment of presiding elders, and other collateral 
subjects, which either directly or indirectly grew out of 
that, our brother Smith took a deep interest, being an 


372 A HISTORY OF THE [1827. 

advocate of wliat was considered the popular side of 
that question. Being- young, ardent, full of zeal for 
any cause he might espouse, he has l>een heard some- 
times on the floor of the General Conference in such 
strains of impassioned eloquence, that one would think 
it hardly possible to resist the force of his arguments 
and the directness of his appeals. But there was a par- 
ticular excellence which mingled itself with all these 
debates. With whatever fervor of spirit, warmth of 
zeal, or power of argument he might enter the arena of 
controversy on these subjects, he always concluded with 
an expression of his perfect fellowship for those who 
dissented from him, and of his unabated attachment to 
the rules and constitution of the Church of his choice. 
I remember to have heard him on one of these occa- 
sions, I think it was in the year 1816, when, after run- 
ning through the field of argument and illustration, to 
sustain his positions, and to prostrate, if possible, his 
antagonists, he concluded with these words : — " If any 
man consider me his enemy because I differ from him 
in opinion, I want not that man for my friend." 

These words, delivered, apparently, with a heart 
overflowing with feelings of kindness toward all men, 
left an impression upon all minds, I should think, if I 
may judge others by myself, as favorable to the speak- 
er's heart and affections, as did his arguments upon 
those who were most partial to his views. I remember 
well that Bishop M'Kendree, who was pointedly opposed 
to the theory of brother Smith, and who had heard 
some cutting remarks in the course of the speech, a few 
minutes only after this peroration was pronounced, took 
the orator in his arms in the most affectionate manner, 


as a token, I supposed, of his fellowship and kindly 

It was thought, however, by some of his intimate 
friends, that these discussions, which were continued in 
various forms, from one year to another, until they termi- 
nated at the Conference of 1828, so wore upon the ner- 
vous system of Mr. Smith that it accelerated the disease 
of which he died. His sensitive mind and warmth of 
affection led him to espouse any cause in which he en- 
gaged with the enthusiasm of an able advocate, and 
his delicate nerves vibrated under the continual irrita- 
tion produced by coming in constant collision with other 
minds equal to his own, and with other arguments 
with which he found it difficult to grapple with success. 
He therefore finally sunk under the pressure of those 
causes, which surrounded him, and v/as consumed by 
the fires which burned within him. 

But that same talent which qualified him for a pow- 
erful debater enabled him to shine in the pulpit, and to 
develop the truths of the gospel with clearness and pre- 
cision. If there was any fault in the style of his pulpit 
eloquence, it consisted in an apparent effort at original- 
ity, and a labor after a diction somewhat pompous, 
instead of being entirely natiu^al, plain, and pointed. 
This caused an occasional obscurity, painful to the 
hearer, and which prevented the full flow of truth from 
entering the understanding and the heart. 

It could not be otherwise than that a man thus con- 
stituted should be amiable in his manners. Brother 
Smith, indeed, possessed the social quahties in a high 
degree, and was therefore a pleasant and edifying com- 
panion, and warm in his attachments. And nothing 
would tend so quickly and so effectually to relieve his 


374 A HISTORY OF THE [1827. 

soul from the burden of melancholy to which I have 
alkuled as social intercourse, when some anecdote hap- 
pily introduced would drive away the demon of gloom 
wiiich occasionally liovered over his mind, and re- 
store him to his wonted cheerfulness and colloquial 

There were also a candor and frankness in his dis- 
position and communications which at once allayed all 
suspicions of his intentions, and threw him into your 
arms ^'as a brother beloved." No double-meaning 
phrases, no studied ambiguity, like the responses of the 
heathen oracles, which might be susceptible of an inter- 
pretation to suit the occasion, marked and debased the 
conversation or conduct of James Smith. When you 
heard his words you knew his heart. When you re- 
ceived his declaration you had a pledge of his senti- 
ments in the sincerity and candor with which he spoke, 
and therefore always felt yourself safe in his society, 
and no less pleased than edified by his conversation. 

It is indeed pleasant to linger along the path of such 
men, and call to our recollection those excellences which 
beautified their character, and made them so estimable 
in their day and generation. But we must check the 
current of our thoughts, and give place to some others 
equally entitled to notice, while we may be allowed to 
anticipate the day when, unencumbered by those in- 
firmities " which flesh is heir to," kindred spirits shall 
mingle their songs together around the throne of God 
and the Lamb. 

Seth Crowell was another who died in the meridian 
of life, and left behind him memorials of his fidehty in 
the cause of God. He entered the travehng ministry in 


1801, and finished his course in the twenty-fifth year 
of his pubhc labors. 

In the early days of his ministry he volunteered his 
services for Upper Canada, where he exhibited those 
talents for preaching", and that ardency of zeal, which 
much endeared him to the people in that province ; and 
he left behind him many witnesses, converted under his 
preaching, of the power and skill with which he wielded 
"the sword of the Spirit." In 1806 and 1807 he was 
stationed in the city of New- York, under the charge of 
the Rev. Aaron Hunt. Here a revival of religion com- 
menced, such, I believe, as had never before been seen 
or felt in that city, and brother Crowell was one of the 
most active instruments by which it was promoted. 
It was during- this powerful revival that the practice of 
inviting" penitent sinners to come to the altar for prayers 
was first introduced. The honor of doing this, if I am 
rightly informed, belongs to brother A. Hunt, who re- 
sorted to it to prevent the confusion arising from praying- 
for them in different parts of the church at the same time. 

In the midst of the shakings and tremblings among 
the congregations during this great work, Seth Crowell 
was eminently useful, preaching with the " Holy Ghost 
sent down from heaven," beseeching sinners to be re- 
conciled to God, and accompanying all his efforts with 
mighty prayer and faith. 

But his great exertions and his abstemious manner 
of living soon made inroads upon his physical constitu- 
tion, and this produced often a depression of spirits 
which rendered him sometimes quite unhappy. In 
consequence of these things he was obliged at times to 
remit his regular preaching, and seek to recruit his 
exhausted strength in a more retired sphere of labor. 


376 A HISTORY OF THE [1827. 

When, however, in the vigor of his strength, the 
warmth of his aflfectiong and his longing desires for the 
salvation of souls led him forth with great zeal, botfi in 
and out of the pulpit, and he sometimes preaclied with 
a power and eloquence which overwhelmed his congre- 
gations "with speechless awe and silent love." Nor 
was it mere declamation. His sermons were sometimes 
deeply argumentative, and his positions supported by 
Scripture texts so appositely, that it amounted to a mo- 
ral demonstration of their truth ; and not unfrequently 
sinners would be constrained to cry aloud for mercy 
while he was making his searching appeals to their 

His preaching was frequently of a controversial cha- 
racter. Against the peculiarities of Calvinism and 
Universalism he bore a strong and pointed testimony, 
delighting to exhibit the universal love of God to man 
on the one hand, and the great danger of abusing it on 
the other, by obstinately refusing to comply with the 
conditions of the gospel. And his sermons on these 
occasions were sometimes delivered with great point 
and power, and could not do otherwise than offend 
those who tenaciously held the sentiments which he 
opposed. That the indulgence of this spirit of contro- 
versy had an unfavorable bearing sometimes upon the 
tranquillity of his mind I think was evident; and 
hence he affords an example of the danger to be appre- 
hended from carrying on a theological warfare on doc- 
trinal points, lest it contract the heart, and degenerate 
into a querulous disposition respecting points of more 
minor importance than those which first awakened the 
spirit of discussion. 

This, together with the many bodily infirmities 


which brother Crowell suffered toward the close of his 
life, no doubt, at times, interrupted that sweet flow of 
brotherly affection which binds the hearts of brethren 
together in the bundle of life, and leads to that recipro- 
city of those kindlier feelings which render social inter' 
course so agreeable and edifying. 

He has, however, gone to his rest. He lingered for 
several months under a slowly wasting disease, during 
which patience and resignation were exemplified in an 
eminent degree, and his soul was buoyed up with the 
blissful prospect of entering into life eternal. He left 
behind him many warm and admiring friends who had 
been profited by his ministry. If he had enemies he 
forgave them ; nor could they suffer their disaffection to 
follow him beyond the tomb. The grace of God in 
Christ at last gave him a victory over the sting of death, 
and transmitted his soul to the regions of the just. And 
whatever infirmities may have occasionally eclipsed the 
glory of his character, human sympathy ceases to weep 
over them in view of the many excellences which beau- 
tified his mind, inspired as they were by that grace 
which carried him through the storms of life safely to 
the harbor of eternal rest. Nor will this record be mis- 
interpreted by those who were acquainted with the 
intimate relation sometimes subsisting between the 
writer and his deceased friend ; while to others it is 
enough to say, that death not only dissolved all earthly 
ties, but was also a period of cementing that union of 
spirit which, it is humbly hoped, will be more fully 
consummated in the kingdom of glory and of God. 




Number of Church members. 

Whites. Colored. Total. 


This year 327,932 54,065 381,997 


Last year 309,550 51,334 360,884 


Increase 18,382 2,731 21,113 170 

Among the colored members above enumerated are 
included five hundred and twenty-three Indians, all in 
Upper Canada except one ; but there were many more 
converted Indians than are here reported. It seems 
that at this time the conferences were not in the habit 
generally of returning the number of Indian converts 
separately in the Minutes ; and as the reports of the 
Missionary Society were all consumed in the disastrous 
fire of the Book Concern in 1836, it is not now possible 
to ascertain their exact number at that time. 


The General Conference of 1828. 

This conference convened in the city of Pittsburgh, 
May 1, 1828. Five bishops, namely, M'Kendree, 
George, Roberts, Soule, and Hedding, were present, and 
the conference was opened by Bishop M'Kendree, with 
reading the Scriptures, singing, and prayer, after which 
Dr. Ruter, book agent at Cincinnati, was elected secretary. 

The following is a list of the delegates who composed 
this conference : — 

New-York Conference* 
Nathan Bangs, Arnold Scholefield, 

* Freeborn Garrettson was elected from this conference, 
but deceased before the meeting of the General Conference. 


John Emory, 
Laban Clark, 
Peter P. Sandford, 
Phineas Rice, 
Stephen Martindale, 
Daniel Ostrander, 
John B. Stratten, 
Lewis Pease, 



Tobias Spicer, 
Heman Bangs, 
Marvin Richardson, 
Samuel Luckey, 
Thomas Burch, 
Buel Goodsell, 
Henry Stead, 
James Youngs. 
New-England Conference. 
George Pickering, Daniel Dorchester, 

Timothy Merritt, 
John Lindsey, 
Edward Hyde, 
Joseph A. Merrill, 
Benjamin R. Hoyt, 
Jacob Sanborn, 
John W. Hardy, 

Eleazar Wells, 
Ephraim Wiley, 
Elisha Streeter, 

Loring Grant, 
Horace Agard, 
George Peck, 
Josiah Keyes, 
Robert Parker, 
Morgan Sherman, 
Edmond O'Fling, 
Israel Chamberlain 
George Harmon, 

Wilbur Fisk, 
Daniel Fillmore, 
Isaac Bonny, 
John F. Adams, 
Joseph B. White, 
John Lord, 
Lewis Bates, 

Thomas C. Pierce. 

Maine Conference. 

Heman Nickerson, 
David Kilbourn, 
Stephen Lovell. 

Genesee Conference. 

Ralph Lanning, 
Isaac Grant, 
Zechariah Paddock, 
James Hall, 
Manley Tooker, 
Gideon Lanning, 
Seth Mattison, 

, John Dempster, 

Jonathan Huestis. 

Canada Conference. 
William Ryerson, Samuel Belton, 

380 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

John Ryerson, William Slater, 

Wyatt Chamberlain. 
Pittsburgh Conference. 
WiUiam Stevens, James Moore, 

Daniel Limerick, Asa Shinn, 

David Sharp, Henry B. Bascom, 

Henry Furlong, Thornton Fleming, 

William Lambdin, Charles Elliott. 

Ohio Conference. 
Jacob Young, Greenbury R. Jones, 

David Young, James Quinn, 

James B. Finley, John Collins, 

John F. Wright, Moses Crume, 

Russel Bigelow, Leroy Swormstedt, 

John Brown. 

Missouri Conference. 
Andrew Monroe, Jesse Halle. 

Illinois Conference. 
Peter Cartwright, James Armstrong, 

Samuel H. Thompson, John Strange, 

John Dew, Charles Holliday. 

Kentucky Conference. 
Richard Tidings, Marcus Lindsey, 

Thomas A. Morris, William Adams, 

Peter Akers, Henry M'Daniel, 

Benjamin T. Crouch, Jonathan Stamper, 

George C. Light, George W. M'Nelly, 

John Tivis. 

Holston Conference. 
Thomas Wilkerson, Elbert F. Sevier, 

Samuel Patton, William S. Manson, 

James Cumming, William Patton, 

Thomas Stringfield. 


Tennessee Conference. 
James Gwin, Finch P. Scruggs^ 

William M'Mahon, Francis A. Owen, 

James M'Ferrin, Ashley B. Roszell, 

Robert Paine, John M. Holland, 

Joshua Butcher. 
Mississippi Conference. 
Benjamin M. Drake, Robert L, Kennon, 

William Winans, Barnabas Pipkin, 

Thomas Griffin, John C. Burruss. 

South Carolina Conference. 
James O. Andrew, Samuel K. Hodges, 

William Capers, George Hill, 

William M. Kennedy, William Arnold, 

Lovick Pierce, Andrew Hamill, 

Henry Bass, Malcom M'Pherson, 

Samuel Dunwody, Robert Adams, 

Elijah Sinclair. 
Virginia Conference. 
Daniel Hall, Moses Brock, 

Hezekiah G. Leigh, Peter Doub, 

Lev/is Skidmore, Henry Holmes, 

Caleb Leach, Thomas Crowder, 

Joseph Carson, John Early. 

Ballimore Conference. 
Stephen G. Roszel, James M. Hanson, 

Nelson Reed, Beverly Waugh, 

Joshua Wells, Andrew Hemphill, 

Joseph Frye, Job Guest, 

Henry Smith, Marmaduke Pierce, 

John Davis, Christopher Frye. 

Philadelphia Conference. 
Ezekiel Cooper, David Daily, 

Lawrence M'Combs, William Leonard, 

38J A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

Manning Force, Joseph Lybrand, 

John Potts, Lot Warfield, 

Charles Pittman George Woolley, 

James Smith, Thomas Neal, 

John Smith, Walter Burrows, 

Solomon Higgins. 

After the organization of the conference the following 
address was received from the bishops, and referred to 
appropriate committees :— 

" Dear Brethren : — It is our bounden duty to join in 
devout and grateful acknowledgments to the Father of 
mercies, whose gracious providence has preserved us in 
all our ways, and especially through the toils and dangers 
which have attended our journey from different and distant 
parts of the United States to this place. And while we 
acknowledge with gratitude the past interpositions of di- 
vine agency, let us unite in humble and fervent prayer for 
the influence of the Holy Spirit to guide us in all our de- 
liberations, and to preserve us and the whole Church in 
the unity of the Spirit and in the bonds of peace. 

" During the last four years it has pleased the great 
Head of the church to continue his heavenly benediction 
on our Zion. The work has been greatly extended ; many 
new circuits and districts have been formed in different 
parts of our vast field of labor ; but yet there is room, and 
pressing calls for much greater enlargement are constantly 

" The great and extensive revivals of religion which we 
have experienced the last three years through almost every 
part of the work, furnish additional proof ' that God's de- 
sign in raising up the preachers called Methodists, in 
America, was to reform the continent, and spread Scrip- 
ture holiness over these lands.' These revivals have been 
the nurseries of the Church and of the ministry. 


" Perhaps it deserves to be regarded as an extraordinary 
interposition of the divine mercy in behalf of the Church, 
that the year ending with this date has been peculiarly 
distinguished by the abundant outpourings of the Holy 
Spirit, and the increase both in the ministry and member- 

" While we are fully persuaded that, under God, our 
itinerant system has been the most effectual means of car- 
rying on this great and blessed work, we recommend it to 
you to guard against whatever measures may have a ten- 
dency to weaken the energies of this system, or to locality 
in any department of the traveling ministry. 

" Our missionary work has been greatly increased since 
the last session of the General Conference. Many parts 
of our extensive frontiers and newly acquired territories 
have received the gospel of salvation by the labors of mis- 
sionaries. The importance and necessity of maintaining 
this efficient missionary system are sufficiently demon- 
strated by the blessed effects which it has produced. Vast 
regions of country, almost entirely destitute of the gospel 
ministry, have by this means, and at a small expense from 
the missionarj^ funds, been formed into circuits, and em- 
braced in our regular work. 

" Missions have been established in several Indian na- 
tions, most of which have succeeded beyond our highest 
expectations. And although, in some cases, we have had 
much to discourage us, and many difficulties to encounter 
and overcome in the prosecution of this work, we consider 
it of indispensable obligation to continue our efforts with 
increasing interest, for the salvation of this forlorn and 
afflicted people. 

" Our attention has been called to South America, and 
to the American colony and surrounding nations in Africa. 
But hitherto we have not been able to send missionaries to 
either place. 


384 A HISTORY OP THE [1828. 

" We invite the attention of the General Conference to 
this important subject. And while wc cannot but regard 
the Missionary Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church 
as a very efficient auxiliary to our itinerant system, and 
happily calculated to diffuse the blessings of the gospel 
among the poor and destitute, we recommend it as a sub- 
ject of inquiry whether it be necessary to adopt any fur- 
ther measures to render this important institution more ex- 
tensive and harmonious in its membership, and more 
abundant and permanent in its resources ; and if any, 
what measures will be best calculated to promote these 
desirable ends. 

" Since the last session of this body, the ' Sunday School 
Union and Tract Societies of the Methodist Episcopal 
Church' have assumed an important and interesting cha- 
racter, and appear to promise great and lasting benefits to 
the community in general, and to the rising generation in 
particular. Your wisdom will dictate wherein it is neces- 
sary to give any additional direction and support to these 
benevolent and growing institutions. 

" As the right of all the members of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church to trial and appeal, as prescribed in the form 
of Discipline, is sacredly secured by the acts of the Ge- 
neral Conference of 1808, it may not be improper to insti- 
tute an inquiry, at the present session, whether any rule in 
the Discipline may be construed or applied so as to mili- 
tate against such acts ; and if so, remedy the evil, 

" We invite your attention to a careful examination of 
the administration of the government, to see if it has been 
in accordance with the strictness and purity of our system. 

" Through a combination of circumstances, we have 
failed to comply with the instructions of the last General 
Conference relative to the appointment of a delegate to the 
British conference. We deeply regret this failure. And 
it would be far more afflictive were we not assured that it 


has not been occasioned, in the least degtee, by any want 
of affection and respect for our British brethren, or any 
indisposition to continue that medium of intercourse with 
them. We therefore recommend it to you to supply our 
lack of service by appointing, in such a manner as you 
shall judge proper, a representative and messenger to visit 
the British conference at its next session. 

" May the God of peace be with you, and with the 
Church of our Lord Jesus Christ committed to your care. 

" Yours with affection and esteem in the bonds of the 

There were several important matters which came 
up for adjudication before this conference, affecting both 
the doctrines and government of the Church, as well 
as the character of some individuals. The first — that 
which affected the doctrines of the Church— was pre- 
sented in an appeal, by the Rev. Joshua Randell, from 
a decision of the New-England conference, by which 
he had been expelled for holding and propagating doc- 
trines inconsistent with our acknowledged standards : — 

"1. In denying that the transgressions of the law, to 
which we are personally responsible, have had any atone- 
ment made for them by Christ. 

" 2. Maintaining that the infinite claims of justice upon 
the transgressor of the divine law may, upon the condition 
of the mere acts of the transgressor himself, be relin- 
quished and given up, and the transgressor pardoned 
without an atonement." 

On these two specifications, both of which the de- 
fendant acknowledged that he held, the New-England 
conference had first suspended him, and given him 
one year to reflect, and, if convinced of his error, to re- 
tract ; and then, on finding that, at the end of the year, 

Vol. III.— a? 

386 A HISTORY OF THE [1829. 

he persisted in his behef in these two propositions, and 
had endeavored to sustain them, both from the pulpit 
and the press, they had expelled him from the Church. 
From this solemn decision he had appealed to this Ge- 
neral Conference, where he appeared in his own de- 
fence, and was allowed to vindicate his views to his 
entire satisfaction, it being stated in the journal of the 
General Conference that "he considered the case as 
having been fairly represented, and that he had nothing 
in particular to add.'^ 

The respondent to Mi*. Randell, on behalf of the 
New-England conference, was the Rev. Wilbur Fisic, 
whose able argument carried a full conviction to the 
judgments of all, with one solitary exception, that the 
above propositions contained doctrines adverse to the 
doctrines of the Methodist Episcopal Church, and that 
the proceedings of the New^-England conference on the 
case had been legal and orderly. After a full, and, as 
was acknowledged by the defendant himself, an impar- 
tial examination and hearing of the case, the decree of 
the New-England conference w^as affirmed by a vote of 
one hundred and sixty-four out of one hundred and 
sixty-five who were present and voted on the question, 
two members, at their own request, being excused from 
voting either way. 

It appears that Bishop Hedding had been misrepre- 
sented in a paper published by the Reformers, called 
" Mutual Rights." This arose out of an address which 
he delivered to the Pittsburgh conference, in Washing- 
ton, Pa., August 22d, 1826, on the duty of its members 
in reference to the discussions with which some portions 
of the Church were then much agitated on the subject 
of a church reform, then in contemplation by a number 


of individuals. This address, which gave offence to 
those who w ere in favor of the proposed measures of the 
" Reformers," so called, had been reported by one of the 
members of said conference, in the " Mutual Rights," 
and sentiments imputed to Bishop Hedding which he 
disavowed, as injurious to his character. He had ac- 
cordingly written to the " Mutual Rights," contradicting 
the slanderous misrepresentation, and demanding repa- 
ration. This not being satisfactoril}' done by the of- 
fending brother, the bishop felt it to be his duty to 
present the subject to this General Conference, and to 
request that it might be investigated ; and hence the 
whole affair was referred to the committee on the epis- 
copacy, before whom the bishop, the writer of the offen- 
sive article, and the delegates of the Pittsburgh confer- 
ence appeared ; and after a full examination of the 
entire subject, they came to the following conclusion : — 
That, after an interview with the person who wTOte the 
article in the " Mutual Rights," and the delegates of the 
Pittsburgh conference, in whose presence the bishop 
had deliv^ered the address respecting which the offensive 
article had been written, and hearing all that could be 
said by the parties concerned, it w^as believed that the 
writer had injuriously misrepresented Bishop Hedding 
in what he had published. This the writer himself, 
after hearing the explanations of the bishop, frankly 
acknowledged, and acquiesced in the decision of the 
committee respecting its injustice, and the propriety of 
making reparation by publishing the report of the com- 
mittee, which report concludes in these words : — " That 
the address of Bishop Hedding, as recollected by him- 
self and the delegates of the Pittsburgli annual confer- 
ence, not only was not deserving of censure, but such 


388 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

as the circumstances of the case rendered it his official 
duty to deliver." 

As an act of justice to Bishop Hedding, the entire re- 
jx)rtj as adopted by the conference, was published in the 
Christian Advocate and Journal, and may l^e seen in 
that paper for May 30, 182S. 

Another subject of a more general character, and of 
no little importance, came up for consideration before 
tliis conference. We have already seen that the Ca- 
nada brethren had manifested much dissatisfaction on 
account of the relation which they sustained to us, and 
the desire they had manifested at times to become inde- 
pendent. This desire, however, did not arise out of 
any dissatisfaction with the conduct of the brethren in 
the United States toward them, but chiefly from the 
opposition evinced by statesmen in Upper Canada to 
their being subject to the control of a foreign ecclesias- 
tical head, over which the civil authorities of Canada 
could exercise no jurisdiction ; and as most of the 
preachers in Canada weie formerly from the United 
States, and all of them subject to an ecclesiastical juris- 
diction in another nation, it was contended by the Ca- 
nadian authorities that they had no sufficient guarantee 
for their allegiance to the crown of Great Britain, and 
to the civil regulations of Canada ; and hence the Me- 
thodist ministers in Canada had sufiered civil disabili- 
ties, and had not been allowed to celebrate the rites of 
matrimony, not even for their own members. 

These arguments, and others of a similar character, 
had induced the Canada conference, which assembled 
in Hallo well, in 1824, when Bishops George and Red- 
ding were both with them, to memorialize the several 
annual conferences in the United States on the subject 


of establishing an independent church in Upper Ca- 
nada, requesting them to recommend the measure to 
this General Conference. Accordingly, the subject 
came up at this time by a memorial from the Canada 
conference, which Was presented by its delegates, and 
referred to a committee. 

The deliberations of the conference resulted in the 
adoption of the following preamble and report : — 

" Whereas the Canada annual conference, situated in 
the province of Upper Canada, under a foreign govern- 
ment, have, in their memorial, presented to this conference 
the disabilities under which they labor, in consequence of 
their union with a foreign ecclesiastical government, and 
setting forth their desire to be set off as a separate church 
establishment : and whereas this General Conference dis- 
claim all right to exercise ecclesiastical jurisdiction under 
such circumstances, except by mutual agreement : — 

" 1. Resolved, therefore, by the delegates of the annual 
conferences in General Conference assembled, that the 
compact existing between the Canada annual conference 
and the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United States 
be, and hereby is, dissolved by mutual consent. 

" 2. That our superintendents or superintendent be, and 
hereby are, respectfully advised and requested to ordain 
such person as may be elected by the Canada conference 
a superintendent for the Canada connection. 

" 3. That we do hereby recommend to our brethren in 
Canada to adopt the form of government of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church in the United States, with such modifi- 
cations as their particular relations shall render necessary. 

" 4. That we do hereby express to our Canada brethren 
our sincere desire that the most friendly feeling may exist 
between them and the connection of the Methodist Epis- 
copal Church in the United States. 

390 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

" 5. That the claims of the Canada conference on our 
Book Concern and chartered fund, and any other claims 
they may suppose they justly have, shall be left open for 
future negotiation and adjustment between the two con- 

It was afterward resolved that the managers of our 
Missionary Society should be allowed to appropriate the 
sum of seven hundred dollars annually for the support 
of the Indian missions in Upper Canada. 

There is an important principle involved in the above 
agreement to dissolve the connection which had so long 
subsisted between the Methodists in the United States 
and Upper Canada, which it seems expedient to ex- 
plain. When the subject first came np for considera- 
tion it was contended, and the committee to whom it 
was first referred so reported, which report was approved 
of by a vote of the General Conference, that we had 
no constitutional right to set off the brethren in Upper 
Canada as an independent body, because the terms of 
the compact by which we existed as a General Confer- 
ence made it obligatory on us, as a delegated bod}^, to 
preserve the union entire, and not to break up the 
Church into separate fragments. Hence, to grant the 
prayer of the memorialists, by a solemn act of legisla- 
tion, would be giving sanction to a principle, and setting 
a precedent for future General Conferences, of a dan- 
gerous character — of such a character as might tend 
ultimately to the dissolution of the ecclesiastical body, 
which would be. in fact and form, contravening the 
very object for which we were constituted a delegated 
conference, this object being a preservation^ and not a 
destruction or dissolution of the union. These argu- 
ments appeared so forcible to the first committeej and to 


the conference, that the idea of granting them a sepa- 
rate organization on the principle of abstract and inde- 
pendent legislation was abandoned as altogether inde- 
fensible, being contrary to the constitutional compact. 

But still feeling a desire to grant, in some way, that 
which the Canada brethren so earnestly requested, and 
for which they pleaded with much zeal, and even with 
most pathetic appeals to our sympathies, it was sug- 
gested by a very intelligent member of the General 
Conference, the late Bishop Emory, that(^the preachers 
who went to Canada from the United States went in 
the first instance as missionaries, and that ever after- 
ward, whenever additional help was needed. Bishop 
Asbury and his successors asked for vohinteers, not 
claiming the right to send them, in the same authori- 
tative manner in which they were sent to the different 
parts of the United States and territories ; hence it fol- 
lowed that the compact between us and our brethren in 
Canada was altogether of a voluntari/ character — loe 
had offered them our services, and they had accepted 
them — and therefore, as the time had arrived when 
they were no longer willing to receive or accept of our 
labors and superintendence, they had a perfect right to 
request us to withdraw our services, and we the same 
right to withhold them.) 

This presented the subject in a new and very clear 
light, and it seemed perfectly compatible with our pow- 
ers as a delegated conference, and their privileges as a 
part of the same body, thus connected by a voluntary 
and conditional compact, either expressed or implied, 
to dissolve the connection subsisting between us, with- 
out any dereliction of duty or forfeiture of privilege on 


392 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

either part. It was on this principle alone that the 
above agreement was based. 

It will be perceived, tliereforej that this miUiial agree- 
ment to dissolve the connection heretofore subsisting 
between the Methodist Episcopal Church in the United 
States and the Canada conference cannot, with justice, 
be pleaded for setting oti" any one conference or any 
number of annual conferences in the United States, as 
their relations to each other and to the General Confer- 
ence are quite dissimilar to that which bound the Canada 
conference to us. The conferences in the United States 
are all bound together by one sacred compact, and the 
severing any one from the main body would partake 
of the same suicidal character as to sever a sound limb 
from the body. The General Conference has no right, 
no authority, thus " to scatter, tear, and slay" the body 
which they are solemnly bound to keep together, to 
nourish, to protect, and to preserve in one harmonious 
whole. If an annual conference declare itself independ- 
ent, out of the pale of the Methodist Episcopal Church, 
it is its own act exclusively, and therefore the responsi- 
bility rests upon itself alone, for which the General 
Conference cannot be held accountable, because it was 
not a participant in the separation. I do not say that 
the General Conference may not disown an annual 
conference, should it become corrupt in doctrine, in 
moral discipline, or in rehgious practice. Should, for 
instance, an annual conference, by an act of the ma- 
jority of its members, abjure any of our essential doc- 
trines, such as the atonement of Christ, or justification 
by faith, or should renounce the sacrament of baptism 
or the Lord's supper, or strike from its moral code any 
of the precepts of morality recognized in our general 


rules, it might become the duty of the General Confer- 
ence to interpose its high authority, and cut off, or at 
least to withdiaw its fellowship from, the offending 
members. Yet such an act of excision, or of disnatu- 
ralization, if I may so call it, could be justified only as 
a dernier resort, when all other means had failed to 
reclaim the delinquents from their wanderings — just as 
the surgeon's knife is to be withheld until mortification 
endangers the life of the patient, when death or ampu- 
tation becomes the sole alternative. How else can the 
Church be preserved — supposing such a case of delin- 
quency to exist — from a general putrefaction ? For if 
a majority of an annual conference become heterodox 
in doctrine, or morally corrupt in practice, the minority 
cannot control them, cannot call them to an account, 
condemn, and expel them. And in this case, must the 
majority of the annual conferences, and perhaps also a 
respectable minority of that very annual conference, be 
compelled to hold these apostates from truth and right- 
eousness in the bosom of their fellowship, to treat them 
in all respects as brethren beloved, and publicly to 
recognize them as such in their public and authorized 
documents? This would be a hard case indeed ! an 
alternative to which no ecclesiastical body should be 
compelled to submit. 

These remarks are made to prevent any misconcep- 
tion respecting the principle on which the above con- 
nection was dissolved, and to show that it forms no 
precedent for a dissolution of the connection now sub- 
sisting between the annual and General Conferences in 
the United States. Analogical arguments, to be con- 
clusive, must be drawn from analogous facts or circum- 
stances, and not from contrast, or opposing facts or 

17* 3 

394 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

circumstances. And the relation subsisting between 
the annual conferences in the United Slates to each 
other, and between them and the General Conference, 
stands in contrast with the relation wliich did subsist 
between the Canada and the General Conference ; and 
therefore no analogical argument can be drawn from 
the mutual agreement by which this relation was dis- 
solved in favor of dissolving the connection now sub- 
sisting between the annual conferences in the United 
States, by a solemn act of legislation on the part of the 
General Conference, except for the reasons above as- 
signed ; and those reasons, let it be rememl)ered, make 
the contrast still greater between the two acts, and 
justify the difference of the procedure: for the dissolu- 
tion of the compact l^etween us and tlie Canada bre- 
thren from the jurisdiction only, Christian fellowship 
still subsisting — while the supposed act of excision 
would be a withdrawing of Christian fellowship from 
the offending members. 

There were also other great principles of ecclesiastical 
economy involved in tlie above resolutions, which it 
may be well to develop and dwell upon for a moment. 

It has been seen that the General Conference autho- 
rized our bishops, or any one of them, to ordain a bishop 
for Upper Canada. It was also provided that if such 
bishop should be so ordained his episcopal jurisdiction 
should be limited to Canada — that he should not be 
allowed to exercise his functions in the United States. 
In favor of both of these positions, namely, the ordain- 
ing a bishop for Canada, and then restricting him in 
his episcopal functions to that country, or the not allow- 
ing him to exercise them in the United States, the 
following precedents were adduced : — 


It was pleaded that the bishops of England ordained 
bishops for the United States exclusively : that when 
Wesley and others ordained Dr. Coke, it was only for 
the United States : and hence neither of these function- 
aries was allowed to exercise his episcopal powers in 
Great Britain. Here, then, were precedents, from our 
own and another church, both for consecrating men for 
other countries, and for restricting them, in the exercise 
of their official duties, to the countries for which they 
were designated in their certificates of ordination. It 
was furthermore stated — and truly too — that when it 
was contemplated to consecrate the late Rev. Freeborn 
Garrettson a bishop for Nova Scotia and the West In- 
dies, it was proposed to withhold from him the privilege 
of being a bishop, by virtue of that election and conse- 
cration, in the United States. 

And as to ordaining men for foreign countries, on 
special occasions, church history was full of examples, 
all which might be adduced as sound precedents for the 
authority conferred upon our bishops in regard to 
ordaining a man on whom the choice of the Canada 
conference might fall for their superintendent. 

There was one other subject disposed of at this con- 
ference, more important, in many respects, than either 
of those already mentioned, inasmuch as it involved 
principles and measures which must, had they been 
carried into effect, have produced a radical change in 
both the legislative and executive departments of our 
church government, and were therefore considered revo- 
lutionary in their character and tendency. 

That this subject may be placed in such a point of 
light as to be clearly understood, it is necessary to enter 
into some historical details. 


396 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

We have already seen that there liad been consider- 
able uneasiness manifested in some portions of our 
Church on the subject of a lay representation in the 
General Conference. At first the discussions upon this 
subject were confined to private circles, though some of 
the traveUng and more of the local preachers, as well 
as a few of the lay members, had been and were now 
of the opinion that such a representation ought to be 
granted. At length, however, those who were most 
zealous for this measure commenced a periodical publi- 
cation, called the "Wesleyan Repository," in which 
they began, at first with apparent moderation, to dis- 
cuss the principle of lay representation. The head- 
quarters of this publication, which was commenced in 
1820, were Trenton, in the state of New- Jersey ; and 
though its editor was known, the greater portion of its 
writers appeared under the mask of fictitious signatures, 
by which they eluded individual responsibility. The 
strictures upon our church government, which became 
uncommonly severe, were more calculated to irritate 
the passions than to convince the judgment, and they 
soon degenerated into personal attacks, in which some 
of our bishops and chief ministers were dragged before 
the public in a way to injure their character, and con- 
sequently to circumscribe their usefulness. And though 
we had a monthly periodical, it was thought, by the 
most judicious among our ministers and people, that its 
columns ought not to be occupied with such a thriftless 
controversy, much less as the writers in the Repository 
lay concealed beneath fictitious signatures ; and more- 
over, instead of sober argument, they frequently resorted 
to biting sarcasm, to personal criminations, and to a 
caricature of some of those institutions which we, as a 


church, had long held sacred. Though it was believed 
that most of the writers in the Repository were local 
preachers and laymen, yet it was known that several 
of the traveling preachers themselves were favorable to 
the proposed innovation, and therefore lent the weight 
of their influence in its behalf by writing occasionally 
for its columns. 

With a view to concentrate their strength and har- 
monize their views as much as possible, the friends of 
the innovating measures formed a " Union Society" in 
the city of Baltimore, elected officers and a committee 
of correspondence, inviting all who were with them in 
sentiment to form auxiliary societies throughout the 
country, that there might be a general co-operation 
among the advocates of lay representation. 

Things went on in this way until near the meeting 
of the General Conference in 1824, when the male 
members of the Church in the city of Baltimore, which 
had now become the center of operations for the " Re- 
formers,"* with a view to allay, if possible, the heat of 
party spirit, were called together for the purpose of at- 
tempting to effect a compromise. This effort grew out 
of the fact that there were many conflicting opinions 
among those who were favorable to "reform," and a 
strong desire among the warm friends of the Church to 

* This being the name by which those brethren chose to 
designate themselves, I have used it as a term of distinction, 
without allowing that they were in reality reformers^ either 
in or of the Methodist Episcopal Church. To reform, is to 
make better ; and they seem to have become convinced 
themselves of the inappropriateness of the term, by dropping 
it, and substituting in its place Protestant Methodists^ imply- 
ing, that though they could not reform us — that is, make us 
better — they could at least ^protest against our peculiarities. 


398 A HISTORY OF THE [1828- 

avert the calamities of a separation, which they saw 
must inevitably result from this feverish excitement, 
unless some pacific measures could he adopted to cool it 
down. In this meeting it was proposed, as the basis of 
the compromise, to memorialize the General Conference 
on the subject of a lay delegation, provided the question 
of a right to such representation were waived, and the 
privilege should be asked on the ground of expediency 
alone. This was assented to by the leading men among 
the '•' Reformers,'' and a memorial was accordingly pre- 
pared in accordance with these views, the part relating 
to lay representation being expressed in the following 
words : — 

" Under these views we have been led to turn our atten- 
tion to the subject of a lay delegation to the General Con- 
ference. In presenting this subject to your consideration, 
we would waive all that might be urged on the natural or 
abstract right of the membership to this privilege. We 
are content to admit that all governments, whether civil or 
ecclesiastical, ought to be founded, not on considerations 
growing out of abstract rights, but on expediency, that being 
always the right government which best secures the inte- 
rests of the whole community. With regard to the expe- 
diency of the measure, then, we may urge that such a 
delegation would brinor into the conference much informa- 
tion with regard to the temporal affairs of the Church 
which the ministry cannot well be supposed to possess. 
They would feel less delicacy in originating and proposing 
measures for the relief of the preachers' families than the 
preachers themselves, as they could not be subjected 
thereby to the imputation of interested motives, and they 
would, by being distributed everywhere among the mem- 
bership, aid, by their personal exertions and influence, the 
success of such measures, and awaken, more generally 


than has hitherto been done, the attention of the Methodist 
community to the great interests of the Church. 

" We are aware of the constitutional objections to this 
change in our economy. We know that you are clearly 
prohibited, by the very first article of the constitution under 
which you act, from adding to the conference any delega- 
tion not provided for in that rule ; but we believe that an 
opinion expressed by the conference, and approved by the 
episcopacy, would induce the annual conferences to make 
the necessary alteration in the constitution : and we sub- 
mit the consideration of the whole matter to the calm and 
deliberate attention which we are persuaded its importance 
demands, and which we do not doubt it will receive, 
determined cheerfully and cordially to submit to your 

During the session of the conference in May, 1824, 
some of the "Reformers," becoming dissatisfied with the 
principles of the compromise, formed a separate society, 
and claimed a representation in the General Conference 
as a natural and social rights deprecating its rejection 
by the General Conference as an evidence of a spiritual 
despotism utterly unworthy the character of the minis- 
try of Jesus Christ. To effect their objects with the 
greater certainty, they immediately issued proposals for 
establishing a new periodical, called " Mutual Rights," 
its title being w^ell calculated to impress the unwary 
reader with the erroneous idea, so much harped upon in 
those days of agitation, that the " Reformers" were the 
exclusive advocates of the " rights" of the lay members 
of our Church. 

The formation of these societies, and the publication 
of this periodical, in w^hich most inflammatory declama- 
tions were poured forth against our ministry and esta- 


400 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

blished usages, were considered, by the more sober and 
thinking part of our conimunity, as incorporating the 
very schism in tlie Church which they deprecated as 
one of the worst evils with which it could be afflicted, 
except, indeed, its inundation by immorahty. The 
fate, howeV'er, of those measures, so far as the General 
Conference was concerned, has been seen in the account 
given of the doings of the General Conference in 1824. 
The prayer of the memoriaHsts was rejected, and the 
ground of right to a lay representation denied. 

It is not necessary to trace the history of this unplea- 
sant affair, in all its minutiae and various ramifications 
over dilTerent parts of the country, from that time until 
the secession was fully consummated, and a separate 
community established. Suffice it therefore to say, that 
matters went on from bad to worse, until it became 
necessary, in the opinion of those who watched over the 
Church in Baltimore, to save it and its institutions from 
dissolution, to call the malecontents to an account for 
their conduct. 

M the Baltimore conference, in 1827, the Rev. D. 
B. Dorsey, who had connected himself with the " Re- 
formers," was arraigned before his conference for recom- 
mending and circulating the " Mutual Rights ;" and 
during the course of his trial he avowed such principles, 
and made such declarations respecting his independent 
rights, as could not be approved of by the conference ; 
and they therefore requested, as the mildest punishment 
they could inflict, the bishop to leave him without an 
appointment for one year. From this decision he took 
an appeal to the General Conference ; but, instead of 
waiting patiently until this ultimate decision could be 
had, he loudly censured the acts of the Baltimore con- 


ference in leference to his case, through the cokimns of 
" Mutual Rights," thus appealing from the constituted 
authorities of the Church to the popular voice, invoking 
from this very equivocal tribunal a decision in his favor. 
All this had a tendency to widen the breach, and to 
make a reconciliation the more hopeless. 

One of the leading champions of this " reform" was 
the Rev. Nicholas Snethen, who had been a very useful 
and influential traveling preacher for many years, but 
was now located, and lived in the neighborhood of Bal- 
timore. He was recognized as the writer of several 
articles, under fictitious signatures, in the " Wesleyan 
Repository" and "Mutual Rights," in which severe 
strictures were made upon our economy ; and now, 
since action had commenced against the malecontents 
in the Baltimore conference, by which it was foreseen 
that others, implicated in the same warfare against the 
authorities and usages of the Church, would be called 
to answer for their conduct, Mr. Snethen avowed him- 
self the author of these pieces, vauntingly placed him- 
self in front of the reforming ranks, shouting, "Onward ! 
brethren ; onward !" pledging himself to suffer or tri- 
umph with them — thus exhibiting a spirit of moral 
heroism worthy of a better cause, and more befitting 
other times than those which called only for a bloodless 

This conduct, how^ever, brought forth a champion 
from the ranks of the local preachers, who, as he him- 
self acknowledged, had been friendly to some slight 
changes in the structure of our church government, 
provided such changes should be thought expedient by 
the General Conference, and could be effected by pacific 
measures, without producing a convulsion in the body. 


402 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

He had long been an intimate and personal friend of 
Mr. Snethen, and therefore it was with some reluctance 
that he yielded to the paramount duty of sacrificing his 
personal friendship for the purpose of defending the 
" ancient landmarks," and of placing himself in opposi- 
tion to the innovations in contemplation by the " Re- 
formers." I allude to Doctor Thomas E. Bond, of 
Baltimore. In 1827 he published his " Appeal to the 
Methodists, in Opposition to the Changes proposed in 
their Church Government," which was prefaced by an 
epistolary dedication to the Rev. Nicholas Snethen. 
This appeared to take Mr. Snethen and his friends by 
surprise, as they seemed to expect least of all such an 
appeal from the source whence it came, while it acted 
as a charm upon the minds of those who loved the insti- 
tutions and prayed for the perpetual union and pros- 
perity of the Church. The able manner in which Dr. 
Bond treated the subject, and refuted the arguments 
and exposed the pretensions of the " Reformers," showed 
that he had thoroughly digested the questions at issue, 
had " counted the cost," and was prepared to abide the 
results of the contest. Having, therefore, balanced the 
weight of the arguments for and against the proposed 
innovation, and fully made up a judgment in favor of 
the Church and its institutions, he wrote from the full- 
ness of his heart, and the following passage from his 
'' Appeal" will show the confident manner in which he 
anticipated the result of this severe and long-protracted 
struggle. After giving the outlines of our church 
government, and the general system of itinerant opera- 
tions, he introduces the following spirited remarks : — 

" It is this system of church government, so simple in 
its structure and efficient in its operation, so tested by 


experience and justified by success, and, withal, so sanc- 
tified in the feelings and affections of our people by the 
endearing associations with which it stands connected, 
that we are now called upon, not to modify, but radically 
to change ; not to mend in some of its less important 
details, but to alter in its fundamental principles, and to 
substitute for it a speculative scheme of government, inap- 
plicable to our circumstances, and therefore impossible to 
be effected ; — a scheme founded on abstract notions of 
natural rights, but which none of its advocates have 
attempted to exhibit in any visible or tangible shape or 
form, and therefore they have carefully avoided the dis- 
cussion of the parts most important in any system, namely, 
its practicability and expediency. Happy for us, the 
scheme is not new. In Europe it has had its day of noise 
and strife, and has ceased to agitate the Church ; and in 
this country Mr. O'Kelly started it more than thirty years 
ago, left the Church, and drew off several of the preachers 
with him. He lived to see the ruins of the visionary 
fabric he had labored to erect, and to mourn over the deso- 
lation which he had brought upon that part of the vineyard, 
where, as a Methodist preacher, he so faithfully and use- 
fully labored, but which he had afterward turned out to be 
ravaged and destroyed by " republican Methodism." The 
formidable phalanx now arrayed against us may, it is 
feared, do us much harm, but we will take protection 
under that strong Arm which has heretofore defended us. 
Hitherto our history has shown that the great Head of the 
church had appointed us for a special work in his vine- 
yard, and that he superintended and directed the labor, 
opening the way before our ministry, qualifying and sus- 
taining them in their arduous labors, under circumstances 
which would have discouraged any but such as were 
assured of divine support, and who were prepared to be- 
lieve in hope against hope. Great conflicts await us, but 

404 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

out of all the Lord will deliver us : while he is with us, 
the more we are oppressed, the more we shall multiply 
and grow. Lei us be faithful to our calling — let us watch 
unto prayer. The present revolutionary scheme of our 
disaffected members will share the fate of all the similar 
projects which have preceded it. Our children will read 
of it in history, but, ere they take our places in the Church, 
the troubled waters shall have heard the voice of Him 
who says to the winds and the waves, Be still, and they 
obey his voice." 

This strong appeal, written throughout with a spirit 
and a style of argument which did honor to the head 
and heart of its author, exerted a most salutary influ- 
ence upon all who had not fully committed themselves 
to the principles and measures of the "Reformers." 
While it drew the lines more distinctly which divided 
the contending parties, it tended to cement closer toge- 
ther those who had so long cherished the institutions of 
Methodism, and to arm them with weapons of defence. 
Hitherto there had been some neutralists, who were 
looking on, not indeed with cold indifference, but with 
an anxious suspense, watching the result of the move- 
ments, and weighing the respective arguments, for the 
purpose of forming an intelligent decision. These 
acknowledged themselves much indebted to Dr. Bond 
for throwing additional light upon this subject, and thus 
saving them from lapsing into the sickly spirit of " re- 
form :" and the Appeal doubtless had the greater weight 
for having been issued from the local instead of the 
traveling rrdnistry, because it was supposed that the 
former had identified themselves more generally than 
(he latter with the reforming party. 

In the mean time a pamphlet had been issued, as 


was erroneously supposed at the time under the sanc- 
tion of the Union Society, by Rev. Alexander M'Cainej* 
in which he attempted to prove that surreptitious means 
had been used in the estabhshment of our Church ; 
that our episcopacy was spurious, gotten up against the 
wishes and without the knowledge of Mr. Wesley— 
thus impugning the motives and impeaching the ho- 
nesty of such men as Coke, Aebiiry, Whatcoat, and 
all those venerable men who composed the General 
Conference of 1784, and assisted in the organization of 
our Church. This appeared to be the climax of ab- 
surdities in the doings of the adverse party, and to reveal 
designs upon the integrity and the very existence of our 
episcopacy, and all those regulations and usages which 
connected themselves with that feature of our Church 
economy, which could not be any longer tolerated with 
impunity. It was therefore thought, by the friends of 
order and the advocates of our Church authorities, that 
the time had fully come for action — for such action as 
should test the solidity of our ecclesiastical structure, and 
the permanency of its foundation. 

Indeed, these ungenerous attacks upon the best of 
men, most of whom were now dead, and therefore 
could not speak for themselves, aroused the spirits of 
those who had hitherto stood aloof from this contro- 

* The author would gladly draw a veil over this affair, 
were it consistent with historic truth ; but Mr. M'Caine has 
so linked himself with this controversy that it is not possible 
to narrate the facts in the case without an exposure of the 
absurdities of his pamphlet ; and hence his name is given to 
the public in connection with a transaction and as a voucher 
for declarations which have been as discreditable and false 
as they were injurious to the reputation of some of the 
purest men the world ever saw. 


406 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

versy, and decided some who had been supposed to be 
frieiidly to tlie spirit of '' reform" against the measure, 
inasmuch as they judged — most conchisively, it is 
thought — that a cause wliich could enlist in its behalf 
such unjustifiable means of attack and defense, could 
not be holy and good. This brought forth the late 
Bishop Emory, who was at that time an assistant book 
agent ; a'^d the " Defence of our Fathers" proved his 
competency to defend those venerable men from the 
aspersions thrown upon them by the author of the 
*• History and Mystery of Methodist Episcopacy." This 
masterly defence of the men who organized our Church, 
and of the organization itself, its principles, measures, 
and results, procured for its author that meed of praise 
that is justly due to a faithful son of the Church, to an 
acute and able reasoner, and to one whose industry in 
collecting and arranging facts for the basis of his argu- 
mentation evinced the depth and accuracy of his re- 
search. This production w^as therefore hailed with 
delight by the friends of the Church, and tended, with 
some others of a similar character, published about the 
same time, to prove that the theory of the " Reformers" 
was a visionary scheme, indefensible by any arguments 
drawn from Scripture, from the ancient records of the 
Church, from the analogy of things, or from any im- 
proper means used in either the organization or naming 
of the Methodist Episcopal Church. This complete refu- 
tation of the groundless assumptions of Mr. M'Caine's 
book was read with great avidity, and procured for its 
author the thanks of all who w^ished well to our Zion. 

But while these things tended to calm the fears of the 
timid, to confirm the wavering in the truth, and to 
strengthen the hearts of all who had heretofore reposed 


in the wisdom and integrity of our fathers in the gospel, 
they by no means satisfied those who appeared bent on 
carrying their measures at all hazards. On the con- 
trary, their leaders seemed to struggle hard under dis- 
appointment, and to redouble their efforts in rallying 
their forces, and preparing them for victory or defeat, 
whenever the warfare should terminate. They had 
heretofore most evidently calculated on carrying with 
them many who now took a decided stand against 
them. This was a source of severe disappointment.* 
These showed, when the alteinative was presented to 
their choice, that they loved Methodism better than its 
proposed substitute. The former they had tried, and 
found savory and healthful ; the latter was an untried 
experiment, and judging from the fruit it had already 
produced, that it was not "good to make one wise," 
they declined the proffered boon as unworthy of their 

But, as before remarked, things had arrived at such 
a crisis in the city of Baltimore that it became necessary, 
in the opinion of those to whom the oveisight of the 

* In the second volume of this History I have given an 
account of the discussions upon the presiding elder question. 
There is reason to believe that the leading men among the 
" Reformers" calculated largely on the support of many, if 
not indeed most of those who favored the election of presid- 
ing elders ; and it is probable that some of these would have 
gone with them had they kept within the bounds of modera- 
tion in their demands. Yet it ought to be remembered that 
the two questions had no necessary connection — that the one 
did not involve the other — and hence it is not surprising that 
some of the most firm, able, and successful opposers of this 
innovation were among those who had favored the election 
of the presiding elders, and making them jointly responsible 
with the bishops for the appointments of the preachers. 


40B A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

Church was commitLedj to call some of the most promi- 
nent leaders in the work of "reform" to an account 
before the proper tribunals. Hence eleven local preach- 
ers and twenty-five lay members were regularly cited 
to appear before the preacher in charge of the Baltimore 
station^ the Rev. James M. Hanson, to answer to the 
charge of " inveighing against our Discipline," " speak- 
ing evil of our ministers," and of violating the rule 
" which prohibits the members of the Church from doing 
harm, and requires them to avoid evil of every kind." 

This general charge was amply sustained by a refer- 
ence to the constitution of the Union Society, by nume- 
rous quotations from "Mutual Rights," and from other 
sources. The delinquents were therefore found guilty, 
the local preachers were suspended, and the lay mem- 
bers expelled. While, however, these transactions were 
pending, before any decision was had. Dr. Bond once 
more threw himself in the gap, and endeavored to avert 
the suspended blow by acting the part of a mediator 
between the parties, and, if possible, thereby to prevent 
the storm from bursting on their heads. His efforts, 
however, were unavailing ; the trials proceeded, and the 
penalty of the Disciphne was finally inflicted, though 
with great reluctance, upon all those who had been 
summoned to trial, with the exception of two lay 

One of the specifications which was adduced to sus- 
tain the general charge was their advising and request- 
ing the publication of the " History and Mystery of Me- 
thodist Episcopacy ;" but as it was found, on further 
examination, that its author alone was lesponsible for 
writing and publishing that work, this specification was 
withdrawn in reference to all the accused except Alex- 


ander M'Caine; and he therefore was summoned 
before another committee of local preachers, tried sepa- 
rately, found guilty, and accordingly suspended. 

As the district conference of local preachers had been 
dissolved, the trial of those who had been suspended by 
the committee of inquiry was brought before the quar- 
terly meeting conference of the Baltimore station. But 
before the trial proceeded to an issue, Dr. J. C. Green, 
of Virginia, volunteered his services as a mediator 
between the parties, and the trial was postponed for the 
purpose of giving ample time to test the result of the 
negotiation. It was, however, unavailing, and the 
trial proceeded, and terminated in finding guilty, and 
the consequent expulsion, of the accused local preach- 
ers ; and as they did not appeal, as they might, to the 
annual conference, they were finally considered no 
longer members of the Methodist Episcopal Church. 

To the lay members who had been found guilty 
before the act of expulsion was consummated, and with 
a view, if possible, to save himself and those concerned 
from the sad alternative which awaited them, Mr. 
Hanson sent each of the persons the following letter : — 

''Baltimore, Nov. 23, 1827. 

" Brother : — You are hereby informed that the com- 
mittee appointed to investigate the charges and specifica- 
tions lately preferred against you a^ a member of the TJnior 
Society, have, by a unanimous decision, found you guilty 
of said charges, together with the first and second specifi- 

" Most willingly, my brother, would I now dispense 
with the painful duty which devolves upon me, could 1 do 
so as an honest man, and without abandoning the interests 
of the Church. Or had I cause to believe that the course 

Vol, III.~I8 

410 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

now about to be pursued would lead you to make suitable 
reparation to that Church whose ministers and discipline 
you have assailed and misrepresented, and to abstain from 
the like offences against the peace and harmony of said 
Church in future, it would tend more than any other con- 
sideration to diminish the painfulness of the obligation 
which my present situation imposes upon me. For, be 
assured, whatever my own opinion may be in regard to 
the course you may have pursued, as a member of the Union 
Society, I most devoutly wish and pray that you may be 
led by the good Spirit of God to take those steps which 
will leave you still in the possession of all the rights and 
privileges of church fellowship. 

" You must be considered as the arbiter of your own 
destiny, my brother, in this matter. Your brethren of the 
committee, men who fear God, whose characters stand 
fair in the Church, and who have disclaimed all feeling of 
personal hostility against you, have pronounced you, as a 
member of the Union Society, guilty of endeavoring to sow 
dissensions in the society or Church of which you are a 
member, and of speaking evil of the ministers of said 
Church. To this conclusion they have been conducted by 
a careful and patient examination of the documents put 
into their hands as evidence in the case. You must, 
therefore, plainly perceive, that the only ground on which 
expulsion from the Church can be avoided is an abandon- 
ment of the Union Society, with assurances that you will 
give no aid in future to any publication or measure calcu- 
lated to cast reproach upon our ministers, or occasion 
breach of union among our members. 

" Be good enough then, my brother, to answer in writ' 
ing the following plain and simple questions : — 

" 1st. Will you withdraw forthwith from the Union 
Society ? 

" 2d. Will you in future withhold vour aid from such 


publications and measures as are calculated to cast 
reproach upon our ministers, and produce breach of union 
among our members ? 

*' Yours, &c. James M. Hansox. 

"P. S. Your answer will be expected in the course 
oifour or five days." 

After allowing sufficient time for deliberation, and 
receiving' no answer, nor discovering- any symptoms of 
reconciliation from any quarter, Mr. Hanson was com- 
pelled to the act, so exceedingly painful to an adminis- 
trator of discipline, of pronouncing them excommuni- 
cated from the Methodist Episcopal Church. Thus 
was the separation, so long and so painfully anticipated, 
notwithstanding all the means used to prevent it, finally 
consummated, and the Church left to bleed under the 
wounds inflicted upon her by those whom she had once 
delighted to honor. 

In the mean time similar proceedings were had in 
other places. We have already seen that the Union 
Society of Baltimore recommended that societies of the 
like character should be organized wherever a sufficient 
number of persons could be found friendly to the mea- 
sures of the " Reformers." This recommendation had 
been complied with in a number of places ; and wherever 
these societies existed, agitations and commotions, simi- 
lar to those in Baltimore, had been the painful results. 
Hence, in the states of Tennessee and North Carolina, 
several members of these Union Societies had been tried 
and expelled from the Church for their refractory con- 
duct, and for inveighing against the disciphne and 
aspersing the character of the ministers of the Methodist 
Episcopal Church, And in addition to those eleven 


412 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

local preachers and twenty-two laymen who were 
expelled in Baltimore, about fifty females, friends of the 
excommunicated brethren, addressed a letter to the rul- 
ing preacher, Mr. Hanson, expressing their desire to 
withdraw from the Church, which they were permitted 
to do without further trial. 

It may be necessary here to correct an erroneous 
opinion, which prevailed to some extent at the time, 
respecting the cause of complaint against the " Reform- 
ers," as they chose all along to call themselves. 

Whoever wall consult the writings of those days, in 
reference to this subject, will find complaints, on the 
part of the " Reformers," that an attempt was made, by 
the advocates for tlie present order of things, to suppress 
tJiquiry^ to abridge the freedom of speech and of the 
press, and that these trials were instituted, in part at 
least, as a punishment for exercising this freedom on 
the subjects that were then litigated. This was a great 
mistake. It was for an abuse of this freedom, for in- 
dulging in personal criminations, injurious to individual 
character, that the delinquents were tried and finally 
condemned. This will appear manifest to every person 
who will impartially inspect the charges, the specifica- 
tions, and the testimony selected from the " Mutual 
Rights" to support the accusations, and also from the 
report of the General Conference on petitions and me- 
morials. It was, indeed, expressly disavowed at the 
time by the prosecutors, and by all who had written on 
the subject, that they wished to suppress freedom of in- 
quiry, either in writing or speaking, provided only that 
the debaters would confine their discussions to an inves- 
tigation of facts and arguments, without impeaching 


the character and motives of those from whom they 

The expelled members in the city of Baltimore im- 
mediately formed themselves into a society, under the 
title of " Associated Methodist Reformers ;" and in the 
month of November, 1827, a convention assembled in 
that city, composed of ministers and lay delegates 
who had been elected by the state conventions and 
Union Societies. This convention prepared a memorial 
to the General Conference. The memorial was pre- 
sented, read, and referred to a committee, and the fol- 
lowing report, drawn up by the late Bishop Emory, and 
unanimously adopted by the conference, will show the 
result : — 

" The committee to whom were referred certain peti- 
tions and memorials, for and against a direct lay and local 
representation in the General Conference, submit the fol- 
lowing report : — 

" Of those which propose this revolution in our econo- 
my, that which has been received from a convention of 
certain local preachers and lay members, held in the city 
of Baltimore in November last, is presumed to imbody the 

* All these matters were set in a just point of light soon 
after these trials were closed, in a pamphlet which was pub- 
lished in the early part of the year 1828, entitled " A Narra- 
tive and Defence," under the signatures of the prosecuting 
committee and the preacher in charge, the Rev. Mr. Hanson 
This "Narrative and Defence," being supported by ample 
documentary testimony, is entitled to credit; and hence it is 
from this able defence of the authorities of the Church, and 
their proceedings in the cases at issue, that I have drawn 
the principal facts contained in the above sketch of this affair. 
From the Discipline afterward adopted by the " Reformers" 
■ I have taken some facts respecting their secession and sub- 
sequent transactions. 


414 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

general views of those who desire this change, and the 
chief arguments on which they rely. In framing a reply, 
in the midst of the various and pressing business of a 
General Conference, it cannot be reasonably expected that 
we should enter into minute details. Our remarks, of 
necessity, must be confined to a few leading topics, in a 
condensed, yet, we trust, an intelligible form. 

" As to the claim of right to the representation contended 
for, if it be a right which the claimants are entitled to 
demand, it must be either a natural or an acquired right. 
If a natural right, then, being founded in nature, it must 
be common to men, as men. The foundation of rights in 
ecclesiastical bodies, in our opinion, rests on a different 
basis. If it be alleged to be an acquired right, then it 
must have been acquired either in consequence of becom- 
ing Christians or of becoming Methodists. If the fonner, 
it devolves on the claimants to prove that this right is con- 
ferred by the Holy Scriptures, and that they impose on us 
the corresponding obligation to grant the claim. That it 
is not ' forbidden' in the New Testament is not sufficient ; 
for neither is the contrary ' forbidden.' Or if the latter be 
alleged, namely, that it has been acquired in consequence 
of becoming Methodists, then it must have been either by 
some conventional compact, or by some obligator^' princi- 
ple in the economy of Methodism, to which, as then organ- 
ized, the claimants voluntarily attached themselves. Nei- 
ther of these, we believe, either has been or can be shown. 
And until one at least of these be shown, the claim of 
right, as such, cannot, we think, have been sustained. 

"But do the memorialists mean to say that they are 
entitled to their claim, as a matter of right, against the 
judgment and the voice of a confessedly very large ma- 
jority of their brethren, both of the ministry traveling and 
local, and also of the lay members ? or that in these cir- 
cumstances, on any ground, the claim ought to be admit- 


ted? We could not have believed them capable of so 
strange a position, had they not declared the opinion as 
prevailing among themselves, ' that the extension of the 
principle of representation to the members and the local 
preachers of the Church, by the General Conference, in 
compliance with a petition of this kind, at this conjuncture 
of time, would do more toward conciliating good feeling, 
restoring lost confidence among brethren, and confirming 
wavering minds, on all sides, than any other measure 
which can be adopted.' 

" Now lue ' speak advisedly' when we say, that, in our 
judgment, such a measure, ' at this conjuncture of time,' 
would have a precisely contrary effect. The ministers 
assembled in General Conference, coming so recently 
from all parts of the great field of our missionary labors, 
and having had, throughout its whole extent, free and con- 
stant intercourse both with traveling and local preachers, 
and also with our lay members, are, certainly, at least as 
well prepared as the memorialists could have been to form 
a correct judgment on this point ; and their calm and deli- 
berate judgment is clearly and unhesitatingly as above 
stated. This we believe, too, to be the true state of the 
question, after it has been so zealously discussed, on the 
side of the memorialists, for now nearly eight years ; dur- 
ing almost the whole of which time, until very recently, 
the discussion has been conducted almost exclusively by 
their own writers. 

" We are aware that it has been assumed, by some at 
least of those writers, that this repugnance to the change 
proposed, on the part of so great a proportion both of our 
local preachers and lay members, to say nothing of the 
itinerant preachers, is the result of ignorance or want of 
intellect. This we conceive to be at least not a very 
modest assumption. Our opinion, on the contrary, is, 
while we freely admit that there are men of respectable 

416 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

information and intelligence who desire the change, that 
there are, nevertheless, very many more, of at least equally 
respectable information and intelligence, who are opposed 
to it, whether on the ground of right, of consistent practi- 
cability, or of utility. 

" With regard to our local brethren particularly, it is our 
decided judgment that the privileges and advantages in 
which they have participated, in this country, have much 
rather exceeded than fallen short of what was contemplated 
in their institution, in the original economy of Methodism, 
as founded by the venerable Wesley, either in Europe or 
in America. We cannot but regret to perceive, that the 
addition of privilege to privilege seems only to have had 
the effect of exciting some of our brethren to claim still 
more and more ; and now to begin to demand them as 
matters of positive and inherent right. We are happy to 
be able to say ' some' only of our local brethren ; for of 
the great body, even of themselves, we believe better 
things, though we thus speak. If, indeed, our members 
generally are tired of our missionary and itinerant system, 
and wish a change, then we could not be surprised if they 
should desire to introduce into our councils local men, 
whose views, and feelings, and interests, in the very na- 
ture and necessity of things, could not fail to be more 
local than those of itinerant men. And if to so powerful 
a local influence should be added, as would be added, the 
tendencies and temptations to locality which, in despite of 
all our better convictions, too often exist among ourselves, 
from domestic and personal considerations of a pressing 
character, we are free to confess our fears of the dangers 
to our itinerant economy which, in our opinion, could not 
fail, in time, to be the result. Now the preservation of 
the great itinerant system, unimpaired, in all its vital ener- 
gies, we do conscientiously believe to be essential to the 
accomplishment of the grand original design of the eco- 


nomy of Methodism, to spread Scriptural holiness over 
these and other lands. 

" The memorialists, we know, disavow any intention or 
desire to impair those energies, or to injure this system. 
Be it so. They can, however, only speak for themselves. 
They know not what may be the views of those who may 
come after them. And, in any event, our argument is, 
that the change proposed would, in its very nature, and 
from the inevitable connections of causes and effects, tend, 
gradually perhaps, yet not the less uncontrollably, to the 
results which we have mentioned. 

" We know also that it has been insinuated that we ad- 
here to the continuance of our present polity from motives 
of personal interest. For protection against such unkind- 
ness and injustice we rest on the good sense and candor 
of the community. It cannot but be well known that our 
present economy bears with a peculiar severity upon the 
personal and domestic comforts of the itinerant ministry. 
And even an enemy could scarcely fail to admit that, were 
we really ambitious of worldly interest, and of personal 
ease, and domestic comfort, we might have the discern- 
ment to perceive that the surest way to effect these objects 
would be to effect the changes proposed, and thus to pre- 
pare the way for the enjoyment of similar advantages, in 
these respects, to those now enjoyed by the settled minis- 
try of other churches. And, indeed, were such a change 
effected, and should we even still continue itinerant, con- 
sidering that, from the necessity of things, our wealthy 
and liberal friends would most generally be selected as 
delegates, we do not doubt that the change proposed might 
probably tend to increase our temporal comforts. We 
think this the more probable, because, if such a direct 
representation of the laity were admitted, their constitu- 
ents might ultimately become obliged, by some positive 
provisions, fully to make up and pay whatever allowances 
18* 3 

418 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

might be made to the ministry ; which allowances, in this 
event, might also more properly acquire the nature of a 
civil obligation. At present our economy knows no such 
thing. Tlie great Head of the church himself has imposed 
on us the duty of preaching the gospel, of administering its 
ordinances, and of maintaining its moral discipline among 
those over whom the Holy Ghost, in these respects, has 
made us overseers. Of these also, namely, of gospel doc- 
trines, ordinances, and moral discipline, we do believe 
that the divinely instituted ministry are the divinely au- 
thorized expounders ; and that the duty of maintaining 
them in their purity, and of not permitting our ministra- 
tions, in these respects, to be authoritatively controlled by 
others, does rest upon us with the force of a moral obliga- 
tion, in the due discharge of which our consciences are 
involved. It is on this ground that we resist the tempta- 
tions of temporal advantage which the proposed changes 
hold out to us. 

" On this point we beg, however, that no one may either 
misunderstand or misrepresent us. We neither claim nor 
seek to be ' lords over God's heritage.' In the sense of 
this passage, there is but one Lord and one Lawgiver. 
We arrogate no authority to enact any laws of our own, 
either of moral or of civil force. Our commission is to 
preach the gospel, and to enforce the moral discipline, 
established by the one Lawgiver, by those spiritual pow- 
ers vested in us, as subordinate pastors, who watch over 
souls as they that must give account to the chief Shep- 
herd. We claim no strictly legislative powers, although 
we grant that the terms ' legislature' and ' legislative' have 
been sometimes used even among ourselves. In a proper 
sense, however, they are not strictly applicable to our 
General Conference. A mistake on this point has proba- 
bly been the source of much erroneous reasoning, and of 
some consequent dissatisfaction. Did we claim any 


authority to enact laws to affect either life or limb, to 
touch the persons or to tax the property of our members, 
they ought, unquestionably, to be directly represented 
among us. But they know we do not. We certainly, 
then, exercise no civil legislation. As to the moral code, 
we are subject, equally with themselves, to one only Lord. 
We have no power to add to, to take from, to alter, or to 
modify a single item of his statutes. Whether laymen or 
ministers be the authorized expounders and administrators 
of those laws, we can confidently rely on the good Chris- 
tian sense of the great body of our brethren to judge. 
These well know, also, that whatever expositions of them 
we apply to others, the same are applied equally to our- 
selves, and, in some instances, with peculiar strictness. 

" No man is obliged to receive our doctrines merely be- 
cause we believe and teach them, nor unless they have his 
own cordial assent. Neither is any man obliged to submit 
himself to what we believe to be the moral discipline of the 
gospel, and our duty to enforce, unless he believes it to be 
so also. In this view, at least, it cannot require any great 
share of either intelligence or candor to perceive some 
difference between our spiritual and pastoral oversight and 
the absolute sway of the ancient ' Druids,' and of the 
despots of ' Babylon and Egypt,' and of ' India and Tar- 
tary.' The subjects of their lawless power became so 
not by choice, but by birth. Neither had they the means, 
whatever might have been their desire, of escaping its 
grasp. Even in more modern days, and under govern- 
ments comparatively free, the right of expatriation, with- 
out the consent of the government, has been denied. We 
do not subscribe to this doctrine, if applied to either church 
or state. The right of ecclesiastical expatriation, from 
any one branch of the Christian church to any other which 
may be preferred, for grave causes, we have never denied. 
Nor can we keep, nor are we desirous to keep, any man 


420 A nisTOnv of the [1828. 

subject to our authority one moment longer than it is his 
own pleasure. We advert to this topic with great reluct- 
ance, but the memorialists compel us. If they will cease 
to compare us to despots, to whom we bear no analosy, 
we shall cease to exhibit the obvious distinction. Till 
then it is our duty to repel the imputation, so obstructive 
of our ministry. Expatriation, either civil or ecclesiasti- 
cal, if we may continue this application of the term, may 
be painful, and attended with sacrifices. But we should 
certcinly think, it preferable to perpetual internal war. If 
our brethren can live in peace with us, in Christian bonds, 
we shall sincerely rejoice, and be cordially happy in their 
society and fellowship. But we entreat them not to keep 
us embroiled in perpetual strife. Our united energies are 
needed for higher and nobler purposes. 

" We have been repeatedly told, in effect, that the doc- 
trines, the moral discipline, and the peculiar Christian 
privileges of class meetings, love feasts, &c., in the Me- 
thodist Episcopal Church, are approved and esteemed, by 
the various memorialists themselves, above those of any 
other branch of the Christian church. Does it not then 
clearly follow, by their own admission, that, with all the 
faults of our government, this state of things has been pre- 
served and maintained under the peculiar administrations 
of our itinerant system ? And who will undertake to say 
that, under a gracious Providence, which has thus led us 
on, this has not, in a great measure at least, been the 
result of the distinctness of our polity from that of most 
other churches ? And who will undertake to say that, 
were the changes proposed adopted, we should not gradu- 
ally, though at first perhaps almost imperceptibly, begin to 
go the way of others ? We speak to Methodists. They 
will judge what we say. The moral results of our past 
and present polity have been tried. Its fruits are before 
us, and confessed by the world. The experiment pro- 


posed, in connection with an essentially itinerant system, 
is untried. Its results, at best, must be problematical ; 
and, in our opinion, there is no prospect of gain that can 
justify the hazard. 

" With regard to our local brethren particularly, they 
have themselves explicitly said, that they ' ask for no dis- 
tinct representation of the local preachers.' So far as this 
question is concerned, therefore, by their own consent, 
they can only be regarded as amalgamated with the laity : 
and our lay brethren, we apprehend, would not readily 
consent to its being considered in any other light. 

" Were we disposed to retort the insinuation of sinister 
personal motives, how easy would it be for us to suggest 
that some of our local brethren who have deserted the 
itinerant field, (perhaps from its toils and privations,) and 
others who have never been pleased to leave domestic 
comforts and temporal pursuits to encounter its labors and 
sacrifices, may be so zealous in accomplishing the pro- 
posed change in order to cut up, or to bring down, the 
itinerant system to a nearer approximation to their tempo- 
ral convenience. So that, in time, they might come, 
without the sacrifices at present necessary, to participate 
both in the pastoral charge, and, alas ! in the envied pit- 
tance of those who now devote themselves wholly to the 
work, and are absolutely dependent for daily subsistence 
on the mere voluntary contributions of those whom they 
serve : (a check on their power indeed !) Such an impu- 
tation would be quite as kind and as true as many of those 
which are so liberally heaped on us. This course of ar- 
gumentation, however, we deem unworthy of Christian 
brethren, and shall leave it for those who think their cause 
requires it. The man who can believe, or who can en- 
deavor to persuade others, that we adhere to our present 
itinerant system for the sake of personal convenience, 
ease, or interest, or with the view of benefiting our poste- 


422 A niSTOTlY OF THE [1828. 

rity more than the posterity of our brethren, may be pitied, 
but he places himself beyond the reach either of reasoning 
or of rebuke. 

" The memorialists were sensible that ' a plan' of their 
proposed changes had been urgently called for, and seem 
to have been well aware that rational and conscientious 
men could not feel free to enter upon so great a revolution, 
in a system of such extent and of such connections, with- 
out a plan, clearly and frankly developed, and bearing the 
marks of having been carefully and judiciously devised. 
The memorialists indeed say, that, ' independently of other 
considerations,' they were ' disposed to avoid the attempt 
to form a plan, out of deference to the General Confer- 
ence.' It would have been more satisfactory to us to have 
known what those 'other considerations' were. From 
some other circumstances, we cannot but apprehend that 
they probably had more influence in keeping back the 
expose of ' a plan' than the one mentioned here, of — ' defe- 
rence to the General Conference.' On our part, we frankly 
confess ourselves incompetent to form any satisfactory 
plan, on any principles which we believe to be equal and 
efficient, and consistent with the energies and greatest 
usefulness of our extended missionary system. We think 
it, therefore, unreasonable, at least, to ask of us to contrive 
a ' plan.' 

'' So far as we can judge from any experiment that has 
been made, in Europe or in America, we cannot perceive 
any great advantages which could be promised to the 
Church from the proposed change. Nor has the late con- 
vention in Baltimore afforded to our understanding any 
additional argument for its efficient practicability. Agree- 
ably to the journal of that convention, one hundred persons 
were appointed to attend it, of whom fifty-seven only did 
attend, namely, from the state of New-York, one ; North 
Carolina, two ; Ohio, four ; District of Columbia, four ; 


Pennsylvania, seven ; Virginia, ten ; and Maryland, 
twenty-nine. Now that convention had been urgently 
called, by repeated public advertisements, and was ex- 
pected to be held but a few days, to discuss subjects 
represented as of great importance and deep interest. 
Liberal invitations were given, and comfortable and free 
accommodations pledged. Yet, notwithstanding the no- 
velty of the assembly, the pleasantness of the season, and 
other inviting circumstances, a very few more than one 
half of the whole number appointed attended. And had it 
required two-thirds of that number to constitute a quorum, 
as in our General Conference, after all their labor and 
expense, no business could have been done, for there 
would have been no quorum. Of the number that did 
attend, too, it will be perceived that a majority of the 
whole were from the state of Maryland, within which the 
convention was held ; and, including the neighboring Dis- 
trict of Columbia, a decisive majority. This exhibits a 
practical proof that, were a lay delegation even admitted, 
the consequence would be, that the extremities of our 
Church would not be, in fact, represented at all, but would 
be subjected to the overwhelming control of those within 
the vicinity of the seat of the conference ; a state of things 
which, we believe, is not desirable. This may serve also, 
perhaps, to account, in some measure, for the great zeal 
which some of our brethren have exhibited in this cause, 
particularly in the state of Maryland and the adjoining 
district, and in the city of Baltimore, where the General 
Conference has usually been held. Were it established 
that the General Conference should always be held in St. 
Louis or New-Orleans, or any other remote part, we can- 
not but think that the zeal of some, in that case, would 
probably be very much abated. Even they would scarcely 
be willing to travel so gi'eat a distance, at so much ex- 

424 A HISTORY or tmf, [1828. 

pense and loss of time, to remain three or four weeks at a 
General Conference. 

" In another document, issued by the convention above 
alluded to, they say, ' We have been laboring with great 
attention and perseverance to put the public in possession 
of our views as fast as we can.' They have also had in 
circulation for many years a monthly periodical publica- 
tion, for the express purpose of diffusing their views and 
advocating their cause, besides the institution of what 
have been called Union Societies, and of late a conven- 
tion. Yet, after all these exertions, the great body of our 
ministers, both traveling and local, as well as of our mem- 
bers, perhaps not much if any short of one hundred to one, 
still oppose their wishes. This, as before said, has been 
assumed to be from ignorance or want of intellect, or from 
some worse principle. But we believe it to be the result 
of a firm and deliberate attachment to our existing institu- 
tions and economy — an attachment which we have the 
happiness of believing to be increased, rat)!er than dimi- 
nished, in proportion to the development of the details of 
any plans which the memorialists have yet seen fit to ex- 
hibit. We put it, then, to the good sense, to the Christian 
candor, and to the calmer and better feelings of our bre- 
thren, whether it be not time to cease to agitate and dis- 
turb the Church with this controversy ? — at least, if it must 
be continued, whether it be not time to divest it of that 
acrimony and virulence which, in too many instances, we 
fear, has furnished fit matter for the scoff of the infidel and 
the reproach of common enemies 1 If this state of things 
be continued, how can it be said, ' See how these Chris- 
tians love one another !' It grieves us to think of it. We 
weep between the porch and the altar ; and our cry is, 
* Spare, O Lord ! spare thy people, and give not thine 
heritage to this reproach.' 

" We know that we have been charged with wishing to 


suppress free inquiry, and with denying to our ministers 
and members the liberty of speech and of the press. Our 
feelings, under such reiterated and widely circulated 
charges, would tempt us to repel them with strong expres- 
sions. If reviled, however, we are resolved not to revile 
again. But the charge we AvhoUy disavow. Our minis- 
ters and members, of every class, are entitled to the full 
liberty of speech and of the press, equally with any other 
citizens of the United States, subject solely to the restric- 
tions and responsibilities imposed by the laws of the land, 
by the obligations of Christianity, and by the existing 
regulations under which we are voluntarily associated, as 
Methodists and as Methodist ministers. The rule in our 
Discipline, 'sec. 7, p. 91,' (new edition, p. 88,) of which 
some of the memorialists complain, never was intended (and 
we are not aware that it has at any time been officially so 
construed) to suppress such freedom of inquiry, or to deny 
such liberty of speech and of the press ; provided such 
inquiry be conducted, and such liberty be used, in a man- 
ner consistent with the above-mentioned obligations. The 
design of the rule was to guard the peace and union of the 
Church against any mischievous false brethren, who might 
be disposed to avail themselves of their place in the bosom 
of the Church to endeavor to sow dissensions, by inveighing 
against our doctrines or discipline, in the sense of unchris- 
tian railing and violence. Any other construction of it we 
have never sanctioned, nor will we. In this view of this 
rule, we cannot consent to its abolition. On the contrary, 
we regard it as a Christian and useful rule, and particularly 
necessary, at the present time, for the well-being of the 
Church. It is aimed against licentiousness, and not against 
liberty. In the state, as well as in the church, it is found 
necessary to subject both speech and the press to certain 
legal responsibilities, which undoubtedly operate as re- 
straints, and tend to guard against licentiousness, by 


426 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

exposing offenders to penalties corresponding to the extent 
of their abuse of liberty. And we confess ourselves among 
the number of those who, with statesmen and jurists, as 
well as divines, maintain that even a despotic government 
is preferable to a state of unbridled anarchy. 

" By insinuations of the above description, and by others 
of an analogous character, attempts have been made to 
excite against us the jealousy and suspicion of statesmen 
and politicians, and of the constituted authorities of the 
civil government. This low stratagem we have always 
regarded as peculiarly deserving the rebuke of every gene- 
rous mind, even among our opponents : and we cannot 
believe otherwise than that it had its origin either in some 
distempered mind or some perverted heart. The memo- 
rialists wish the government of the Church to be assimi- 
lated to that of the state. We think, on the other hand, 
that as there neither is nor ought to be any connection 
between church and state, so neither is there any obliga- 
tion or necessity to conform the government of the one to 
that of the other. That both their origin and their objects 
differ ; and that to aim at conforming them to each other 
would be more likely, in the course of human events, to 
terminate in their amalgamation, than the course of deny- 
ing such analogy, and maintaining the two jurisdictions on 
their peculiarly distinctive bases, under regulations adapted 
to the objects for which they were severally designed. In 
the instances of civil and religious despotism alluded to by 
the memorialists, as recorded in history, the powers of 
church and state were combined, and no means were left 
to the people of appealing or of escaping from the one or 
from the other. The first step toward producing such a 
state of things would be to bring ministers of religion and 
officers of state into a nearer alliance with each other, and 
thus gradually to effect an assimilation of views, and feel- 
ings, and interests. The way being thus prepared, politi- 


cians and statesmen might be introduced into our ecclesi- 
astical councils, and, by a ' mutual' combination, aid each 
other in the accumulation of power and influence. We do 
not affirm that any of the memorialists seriously meditate 
such designs. But we do say, that, according to our un- 
derstanding of the natural tendency of things, the change 
proposed is just such a one as would be most likely to be 
adopted by men of policy for the accomplishment of such 
an object ; and that, in the present state of the world, no- 
thing would be more impolitic than the continuance of our 
present economy with any such ambitious schemes in 
view as some, we fear, and must say, have malevolently 

" With regard to what have been called ' Union Socie- 
ties,* we consider the organization of these distinct bodies 
within the bosom of the Church as the baneful source of 
the principal evils which of late have so painfully afflicted 
and distracted some portions of our charge. Such asso- 
ciations, within the pale of the Church, have arrayed and 
combined all the workings of the spirit of party in their 
most pernicious and destructive forms. They have drawn 
a line of separation between those who compose them and 
their brethren, as organized and systematic adversaries. 
They have separated chief friends ; they have severed the 
most sacred and endearing ties; and have caused and 
fomented discord and strife in circles before distinguished 
for peace and love. And under whatever plausible pre- 
texts they may have been instituted, the Church generally, 
we believe, has regarded them as calculated, if not de- 
signed, either to obstruct the due administration of disci- 
pline, by overawing the administration of it, or to prepare 
an organized secession, in case they should fail in model- 
ing the Church according to their wishes. With these 
associations numbers, we have no doubt, unwarily became 
connected at first, from various views, who now feel a 


428 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

difficulty in disentangling themselves. If, however, the 
real object of their original institution was to secure an 
identity of views in the communications to be presented to 
this General Conference, that object having been now 
accomplished, we afTcctionately and respectfully submit it 
to the peacefully disposed among our brethren who may 
yet compose them, whether there can yet be any remain- 
ing obligation to continue in them ; and whether, in fact, 
they ought not now to be dissolved. In our opinion, con- 
sidering what have been their past operation and effects, 
the general peace of the Church can never be restored 
and settled on any firm and lasting basis till this shall be 

" We might add much more, but the time fails us. We 
entreat our brethren to be at peace. It is our earnest and 
sincere desire. In order to it, on our part, we have ad- 
vised, and do hereby advise and exhort all our brethren, 
and all our ecclesiastical officers, to cultivate on all occa- 
sions the meekness and gentleness of Christ ; and to exer- 
cise all the lenity, moderation, and forbearance which may 
be consistent with the purity of our institutions, and the 
due and firm administration of necessary discipline, the 
sacrifice of which we could not but deem too costly, even 
for peace. 

" In conclusion, we say to brethren, ' If there be, there- 
fore, any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if 
any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 
fulfil ye our joy, that ye be like minded, having the same 
love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let the peace of 
God rule in our hearts, to the which also we are called in 
one body ; and let us be thankful. Whatsoever things 
are true, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are 
lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be 
any virtue and any praise, let us think on these things. — 
Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor, and 


evil speaking be put away from us, with all malice. And 
may the God of love and peace be with us.' " 

The following resolutions were adopted also, nearly 
unanimously : — 

" Whereas an unhappy excitement has existed in some 
parts of our work, in consequence of the organization of 
what have been called Union Societies, for purposes, and 
under regulations, believed to be inconsistent with the 
peace and harmony of the Church ; and in relation to the 
character of much of the matter contained in a certain 
periodical publication, called ' Mutual Rights,' in regard to 
which certain expulsions from the Church have taken 
place : and whereas this General Conference indulges a 
hope that a mutual desire may exist for conciliation and 
peace, and is desirous of leaving open a way for the ac- 
complishment of so desirable an object, on safe and equi- 
table principles ; therefore. Resolved, &c., 

" 1. That in view of the premises, and in the earnest 
hope that this measure may tend to promote this object, 
this General Conference affectionately advises that no 
further proceedings may be had, in any part of our work, 
against any minister or member of the Methodist Episco- 
pal Church, on account of any past agency or concern in 
relation to the above-named periodical, or in relation to 
any Union Society as above mentioned. 

" 2. If any persons, expelled as aforesaid, feel free to 
concede that publications have appeared in said ' Mutual 
Rights,' the nature and character of which were unjustifi- 
ably inflammatory, and do not admit of vindication ; and 
that others, though for want of proper information, or unin- 
tentionally, have yet, in fact, misrepresented individuals 
and facts, and that they regret these things : if it be volun- 
tarily agreed, also, that the Union Societies above alluded 
to shall be aboUshed, and the periodical called * Mutual 

430 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

Rights' be discontinued at the close of the current volume, 
which shall be completed with due respect to the concilia- 
tory and pacific design of this arrangement ; then this 
General Conference does hereby give authority for the 
restoration to their ministry or membership respectively, 
in the Methodist Episcopal Church, of any person or per- 
sons so expelled, as aforesaid ; provided this arrangement 
shall be mutually assented to by any individual or indivi- 
duals so expelled, and also by the quarterly meeting con- 
ference, and the minister or preacher having the charge 
in any circuit or station within which any such expulsion 
may have taken place; and that no such minister or 
preacher shall be obliged, under this arrangement, to 
restore any such individual as leader of any class or 
classes, unless in his own discretion he shall judge it 
proper so to do ; and provided also, that it be further mu- 
tually agreed that no other periodical publication, to be 
devoted to the same controversy, shall be established on 
either side ; it being expressly understood, at the same 
time, that this, if agreed to, will be on the ground, not of 
any assumption of right to require this, but of mutual con- 
sent, for the restoration of peace ; and that no individual 
will be hereby precluded from issuing any publication 
which he may judge proper, on his own responsibility. 
It is further understood, that any individual or individuals 
who may have withdrawn from the Methodist Episcopal 
Church, on account of any proceedings in relation to the 
premises, may also be restored, by mutual consent, under 
this arrangement, on the same principles as above stated." 

This decision, so far as the General Conference was 

concerned, set the question at rest, giving all concerned 

distinctly to understand that such a radical change in 

our government could not be allowed, and therefore 



all efforts directed to that end were and would be una* 

Some have expressed their surprise that the General 
Conference was so unwilling to yield to the voice of the 
people ! The answer is, that the voice of the people 
was yielded to, so far as it could be heard and under- 
stood. It is believed that nine-tenths of our people 
throughout the United States, could they have been 
heard) were decidedly opposed to the innovations which 
were urged. They were not only contented with the 
present order of things, but they loved their institutions, 
venerated their ministers, and w^ere astounded at the 
bold manner in which they were both assailed from the 
pulpit and the press. In resisting, therefore, the pro- 
posed changes, the conference believed it loent ivith, 
and not against^ the popular voice of the Church ; and 
the result has proved that it was not in error ; for it has 
been fully sustained in its course by the great body of 
preachers and people in all the annual conferences and 
throughout the entire Church ; and it has, moreover, 
had the sanction of at least some of the " Reformers" 
themselves, w4io have become convinced that they cal- 
culated on a higher state of individual and social perfec- 
tion than they have found attainable, and that it is 
much easier to shake and uproot established institutions 
than it is to raise up and render permanent a new order 
of things— a truth which should teach all revolutionists 
the necessity of caution and moderation in their mea- 

Il will be perceived that one of the resolutions in the 
above report proposed terms on which the expelled 
members might be restored to their former standing in 
the Church. It is not known, however, that any of 


432 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

them availed themselves of tliis privilege j but, on the 
contrary, a very considerable number, both in Baltimore 
and other places, withdrew from the Church, and put 
themselves under the wing of " reform ;" while a few, 
who still proved refractory, in Cincinnati, Lynchburg, 
and some other places, were tried and expelled. The 
exact number lost to the Church I have not been able 
to ascertain ; but by turning to the Minutes of our con- 
ferences, and comparing the numbers for 182S with 
those for 1829, I find the increase of members to be 
29,305,* and of preachers 175 ; for 1830 the increase 
of members is 28,257, and of preachers 83. And as 
this is quite equal to the usual increase from one year 
to another, the secession could not have included a 
great number of either members or preachers. In the 
cities of New- York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, 
and Cincinnati were found the greatest number of "Re- 
formers."t Here they organized churches and esta- 

* This increase appears after deducting the members in 
the Canada conference, which were, in 1827, 8,595. Had 
these been included, the entire increase would have appeared, 
as it in reality was, 37,900, and of preachers 273. The rea- 
son why these were not included was, the Canada conference 
had become independent. 

t Though I have earnestly sought, from various sources, 
to ascertain the exact number who were expelled and who 
seceded from the Church, as well as the numbers nov/ be- 
longing to the '• Methodist Protestant Church,-' I have not 
been able to obtain the information. If any one will furnish 
me with tliis very desirable information, from any authentic 
source, I will most gladly avail myself of it to perfect this 
account in a future edition. However, that the reader may 
perceive how far the Church was affected in the above-men- 
tioned cities by the secession, I have prepared the following 
tabular view of the number of white members in each of 
them from 1827 to 1831, inclusive :— 


blished congregations in conformity to their improved 
plan of procedure : but it is believed that in all these 
places their influence has been on the wane for sonle 
time, and that, while several have returned to the 
Church which they had left, others have become wea- 
ried and vexed with "reform," being convinced that 




































As the colored members were not much affected either 
way by these agitations, I have left them out of the estimate; 
and it will be seen that there was a gradual increase in all 
the above cities from 1827 to 1831, the years in which the 
"Methodist Protestants" were maturing their organization, 
except Pittsburgh, and the decrease here was only eighty- 
two in 1828, and forty-six in 1830. The number, therefore, 
who left us, instead of being from twenty to thirty thousand, 
as was reported at the time, must have been very few, or the 
revivals and admittances very considerable ; and either alter- 
native shows on which side of the question at issue the pub- 
lic mind preponderated ; and if revivals of religion and an 
increase of membership may be relied on as an evidence of 
the divine approbation, we have had ample testimony in 
favor of our proceedings and general system of operations : 
we may therefore, with thankfulness, adore the God of our 
salvation for his unmerited goodness toward us as a people, 
even in the midst of our manifold failures and infirmities. 

It is a fact worthy of record, not, indeed, as matter of vain 
boasting, but of humble gratitude to the Author of all good, 
that " no weapon" hitherto " formed against us has pros- 
pered" — nor will it, so long as we cleave unto God with full 
purpose of heart ; but " if we forsake him he will cast us off 
for ever." May we then take heed to our ways, that we 
sin not with our lips, nor charge God foolishly in any of our 
conduct ! 

Vol. IIL— 19 

434 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

they calculated too hif^hly on the perfection of human 
nature not to be disappointed in their expectations. 

It seems right, tlierefore, that the reader may have 
an intelligent view of the whole matter, that he should 
be informed what their plans were, that he may per- 
ceive the improvements with which they designed to 
perfect the system adopted by the Methodist Episcopal 
Church. In the month of November of this year the 
•'Associated Methodist Churches" held a convention in 
the city of Baltimore, at which a provisional govern- 
ment was formed until a constitution and book of disci- 
pline could be prepared at a future convention. This 
convention assembled in the city of Baltimore on the 
second day of November, 1830, and was composed of 
an equal number of lay and clerical delegates from 
several parts of the Union, representing thirteen annual 
conferences,* and continued its sessions until the twenty- 
third of the same month. The convention proceeded 

* Some of these conferences must have been very small, 
for in looking over the list of delegates I find them in the 
following proportions :— From Vermont, two ; Massachu- 
setts, two ; New-York and Canada, one ; Genesee, eight ; 
New-York, two; Pennsylvania, twenty-eight; Maryland, 
twenty-eight; Virginia, twelve ; North Carolina, six ; Geor- 
gia, four; Alabama, two; Ohio, sixteen; Western Virginia, 
two ; in all, one hundred and thirteen. But as there were 
thirty-one absentees, the convention was composed of 

From the above the reader may see in what portions of 
our country the "Reformers" were the most numerous. 
Among those who composed this convention there were, 
I believe, but two, the Rev. Messrs. Asa Shinn and George 
Brown, both of the Pittsburgh conference, who were travel- 
ing preachers at the time they withdrew from us and joined 
the " Reformers." The rest among the clerical delegates 
"were all local preachers, some of whom had once been in 


to the adoption of a " constitution," the first article of 
which fixed the title of the new "Association" to be 
"The Methodist Protestant Church," and the whole 
community was divided into " districts," " circuits," and 
" stations ;" — the " districts," comprising the bounds of 
an annual conference, to be composed of an equal num- 
ber of ordained itinerant ministers and delegates, elected 
either from the local preachers or lay members ; — the 
General Conference was to consist of an equal number 
of ministers and laymen, to be elected by the annual 
conferences, and must assemble every seventh year for 
the transaction of business. 

The offices of bishop and presiding elder were abo- 
lished, and both the annual and General Conferences 
were to elect their presidents by ballot to preside over 
their deUberations ; and the presidents of annual con- 
ferences were also to travel through their districts, to 
visit all the circuits and stations, and, as far as practi- 
cable, to be present at quarterly and camp meetings ; — 
to ordain, assisted by two or more elders, such as might 
be duly recommended ; to change preachers in the in- 
terval of conference, provided their consent be first 
obtained. The chief points, therefore, in which they 
differ from us are, that they have abolished episcopacy, 
and admit laymen to a participation of all the legisla- 
tive and judicial departments of the government. Class, 
society, and quarterly meetings, annual and General 
Conferences, and an itinerant ministry, they have pre- 
served. They also hold fast the fundamental doctrines 
of our Church and its moral discipline. The verbal 

the itinerant ministry, but had located, and two had been 
expelled. This shows how feeble an impression had been 
made on the traveling ministry in favor of " reform." 


430 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

alterations which they have introduced into some por- 
tions of the prayers, moral and prudential regulations, 
will not, it is believed, enhance their worth in the esti- 
mation of any sober and enHghtened mind. This, 
however, may be more a matter of taste than of sound 
verbal criticism, as it is hardly to be supposed that judi- 
cious men would alter " the form of sound words" 
merely for the sake of altering. 

Though a separate community was thus established, 
it was a considerable time before the agitations ceased. 
It was but natural for those who had withdrawn from 
the Church to attempt a justification of themselves be- 
fore the pubHc by assigning reasons for their proceed- 
ings, and by an effort to put their antagonists in the 
wrong. And as they had a periodical at their com- 
mand, writers were not wanting to volunteer their ser- 
vices in defense of their measures, and in opposition to 
what they considered the objectionable features of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church. This called for defense 
on the part of those more immediately implicated by 
the writers in "Mutual Rights." And as Baltimore 
had been the chief seat of the controversy from the be- 
ginning, and as it was thought not advisable to make 
the columns of the Christian Advocate and Journal a 
medium for conducting the controversy, the brethren in 
that city established a weekly paper, called " The 
Itinerant," which was devoted especially to the vindi- 
cation of the government, ministers, and usages cf the' 
Methodist Episcopal Church, containing, in the mean 
time, animadversions upon the newly constituted govern- 
ment, and a replication to the arguments of its advo- 
cates in its defense. Many very able pieces appeared 
from time to time in " The Itinerant," in defense of the 


proceedings of the authorities of the Church in the city 
of Baltimore, of the General Conference, and those 
annual conferences which had acted in the premises. 
These contributed greatly to settle the questions at 
issue on a just and firm basis, and to show that these 
things were susceptible of a Scriptural and rational 

But the spirit of contention, which had long been 
impatient of control, at length became wearied, and the 
combatants gradually retired from the field of contro- 
versy, the Itinerant was discontinued, and the Christian 
Advocate and Journal, which had, indeed, said but little 
on the subject, pioposed a truce, which seemed to be 
gladly accepted by the dissentient brethren, and they 
were left to try the strength of their newly formed sys- 
tem without further molestation from their old brethren. 

On a review of these things, we find much to humble 
us, and yet much to excite our gratitude. In all strug- 
gles of this sort the spirits of men are apt to become less 
or more exasperated, brotherly love to be diminished, 
and a strife for the mastery too often usurps the place 
of a holy contention " for the faith once delivered to the 
saints." That the present discussion partook more or 
less of these common defects, on both sides, may be 
granted, without yielding one iota of the main princi- 
ples for which we contend. Indeed, truth itself may 
sometimes have cause to blush for the imperfect and 
often rude manner in which its disciples attempt to vin- 
dicate its injured rights ; while error may be defended 
by the wily arts of its advocates with an assumed meek- 
ness and forbearance which may smooth over its rough 
edges by their ingenious sophistry so effectually as to 
beguile the simple hearted, until the serpent clasps them 

438 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

in its deceitful and relentless coils. But extricate your- 
self from its painful grasp, expose its serpentine coui-se, 
and denounce, in just terms of reprobation, its delusive 
schemes, and it will throw ofT its disguise, and pour 
forth, in blustering terms, its denunciations against 
you, with a view to blacken your character, and render 
you odious in the estimation of the \vise and good. It 
will then complain of that very injustice which it 
attempted to inflict on you, and will repel all complaints 
of its own unfairness by a repetition of its offensive 
epithets. Truth, however, has no need to resort to 
finesse, to intrigue, to epithets of abuse, in its own de- 
fense. Though it can never falsify its own principles, 
nor yield to the demands of error, either in complai- 
sance to its antagonists or to soften the tones of honesty 
and uprightness with which it utters its sentiments, yet 
it seeks not to fortify its positions by a resort to the con- 
temptible arts of sophistry, nor to silence its adversaries 
by a substitution of personal abuse for arguments. It 
expresses itself fearlessly and honestly, without disguise 
or apology, leaving the consequences to its sacred 

How far these remarks may apply to those who en- 
gaged in the present contest I pretend not to determine. 
But whatever may have been the defects in the spirit 
and manner in which the controversy was conducted, 
w^e rejoice that it has so far terminated, and that we 
may now calmly review the past, may apologize for 
mistakes, forgive injuries, whether real or imaginary, 
and exercise a mutual spirit of forbearance toward each 
other. For whatever imperfections of human nature 
may have been exhibited on either side, we have just 
cause of humiliation ; and while they teach us the infi- 


nite value of the atoning blood to cover all such aberra- 
tions, they furnish lessons of mutual forbearance and 

But while this humbling view of the subject deprives 
us of all just cause of boasting, we may, it is thought, 
perceive much in the resjilt which should excite our 
gratitude. To the intelligent friends of our Church 
organization, of our established and long continued 
usages and institutions, it gave an opportunity of exa- 
mining their foundation, of testing their soundness and 
strength, and of defending them against their assail- 
ants. Having proved them susceptible of a Scriptural 
and rational vindication, we have reason to believe that 
they became not only better understood, but more highly 
appreciated and sincerely loved. Experience and prac- 
tice having furnished us with those weapons of defense 
to which we might otherwise have remained strangers, 
we have learned the lessons of wisdom from the things 
we have been called to suffer, and an increased venera- 
tion for our cherished institutions has been the benefi- 
cial consequence. Greater peace and harmony within 
our borders succeeded to the storms of agitation and 
division. Our own Church organization and plans of 
procedure have been made to appear more excellent 
from contrasting them with those substituted by the 
seceding party; and so far as success may be rehed 
upon as a test of the goodness and beneficial tendency 
of any system of operations, we have no temptation to 
forsake " the old paths" for the purpose of following in 
the track of those who have opened the untrodden way 
of " reform," or to be shaken by the strong " protest" 
they have entered against our peculiar organization and 
manner of conducting our affairs. 


440 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

In narrating tlie facts in this perplexing case I have 
aimed at historical truth. In doing this I may have 
wounded the feelings of some who were the more im- 
mediate actors in the scenes which have passed before 
us. Tliis, however, was very far from my intention. 
I have, indeed, labored most assiduously to present the 
facts in as inoffensive language as possible, consistently 
with the demands of impartial history, and therefore 
hope to escape the censure justly due to those who wil- 
fully pervert the truth or misinterpret its language. Nor 
will I claim for myself any other apology for uninten- 
tional errors than fallible humanity has a right to exact 
from candid criticism. And now that the struggle is 
over, may we all, pursuing our respective modes of doing 
good, '• as far as possible, live peaceably with all men." 

The cause of missions, of education, and of the Ame- 
rican Colonization Society, v/as duly considered, and 
highly recommended to the approbation and support of 
our people ; and the reports and resolutions in reference 
to these several subjects no doubt tended much to 
advance their respective claims upon the public munifi- 

The constitutional term of Nathan Bangs, as editor 
and general book agent, having expired, he was elected 
editor of the Christian Advocate and Journal, and John 
Emory w^as appointed to succeed him in the general 
editorship and agency, and Beverly Waugh was elected 
the assistant of Dr. Emory. 

The following provision was made respecting the 
appointment of trustees: — "When a new board of 
trustees is to be created, it shall be done (except in 
those states and territories where the statutes provide 
differently) by the appointment of the preacher in 


charge, or by the presiding elder ;" — thus ^approving 
the election of trustees according to the laws of the re- 
spective states and territories, and at the same time 
providing for the manner in which they shall be ap- 
pointed where no such laws exist. 

The Rev. WiDiam Capers was elected as a delegate 
to represent us to the Wesleyan Methodist conference 
in the succeeding month of July, and he bore with him 
the following address : — 


Of the General Conference of the Methodist Episcopal 

Church, to the Wesleyan Methodist Conference. 

" Beloved Fathers and Brethren : — Having, by 
the mercy of our God, brought the present session of our 
General Conference near to a close, we avail ourselves 
of this opportunity to convey to you our Christian saluta- 
tions. Our beloved brother, the Rev. William Capers, 
whom we have elected as our representative to your con- 
ference, will more fully explain to you the state of our 
affairs, the strong affection we bear to you as our elder 
brethren, and our fervent desire to preserve with you the 
bond of peace and the unity of the Spirit. 

" Our present session, though laborious, and involving 
various and important points vitally connected with the 
interests of our Chiurch, and of Christianity generally, has 
been marked with general harmony of feeling and mutual 
good- will ; and we humbly trust it will tend to strengthen 
the bond of union among ourselves, more fully to combine 
our strength, to concentrate and harmonize our views and 
affections, and to give a new impulse to the great work in 
which we are engaged. 

" To stimulate us to diligence in this most sacred of all 
causes, the bright example of your persevering efforts in 
the cause of God is placed before us. Deriving our doc- 

19* 3 

442 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

trines from, the same great Ibimtain of truth, the Holy 
Scriptures, and admitting the same medium of interpreta- 
tion, the venerated Wesley and his coadjutors, and, we 
humbly hope, pursuing the same great objects, the present 
and future salvation of souls, we desire ever to cultivate 
with you the closest bond of union and Christian fellow- 
ship. Under the influence of these views and feelings, 
we have rejoiced in your prosperity, and witnessed with 
unmingled pleasure the extension of your work, particu- 
larly in your missionary department. 

"With you, also, we have our portion of afflictions. 
Through the disaffection of some, and the honest, though, 
as we think, mistaken zeal of others, in some parts of our 
extended work, the harmony of our people has been dis- 
turbed, and principles, to us novel in their character, and 
deleterious in their influence on the excellent system we 
have received from our fathers, have been industriously 
circulated. Though we may not flatter ourselves that 
these unhappy excitements are fully terminated, yet we 
presume to hope that the decided and almost unanimous 
expression of disapprobation to such proceedings by this 
General Conference, and among our preachers and people 
generally, will greatly weaken the disaffection, and tend 
to correct the errors of the wandering, as well as to con- 
firm and strengthen the hands of all who desire to cleave 
to the Lord ' in one faith, oiie baptism, and one hope of 
our calling.' 

" Since our last session, we have witnessed, with joy 
and gratitude, an unusual effusion of the Holy Spirit. 
Revivals of religion have been numerous and extensive in 
almost every part of our continent. Upward of sixty-nine 
thousand have been added to our Church during the past 
four years, and the work is still extending. Stretching 
our lines over so large a continent, many parts of our 
work, particularly in the new settlements, require great 


personal sacrifices to carry to them the blessings of our 
ministry, and much diligence and patient perseverance to 
preserve our beloved people in the unity of the faith. For 
these great objects we are not sufficient — ' our sufficiency 
is of God.' But having devoted ourselves exclusively to 
this work, and confiding in the strength and goodness of 
Him vi^hose we are, and whom we profess to serve in the 
fellowship of the gospel, we hope not to faint in the day 
of trial, but to persevere in conveying the glad tidings of 
peace to the destitute inhabitants of our land, until every 
part of it shall break forth into singing, and hail with joy 
the coming of the Lord. 

" Cheered with this ^prospect, we are endeavoring to 
strengthen each other in the Lord. And the happy results 
of our missionary labors, both among the frontier settle- 
ments of our white population and the Indian tribes, parti- 
cularly the latter, are pleasing indications of the divine 
approbation. It does, indeed, seem as if the set time had 
come to favor these lost tribes of our wildernesses, and to 
bring them into the fold of Christ. These natives, hitherto 
' peeled and scattered,' in the United States and territories, 
as well as in Upper Canada, are bowing to the yoke of 
Chi'ist with astonishing alacrity, and thus giving evidence 
that his grace is sufficient to convert even the heart of a 
savage, and to transform him to the gentleness of Christ. 
On this subject, however, we need not enlarge, but refer 
you to our periodical works — the extensive circulation of 
which among our people gives increased impulse to the 
work, carrying information, cheering and delightful, to 
many thousands, of the efficacy and triumph of redeeming 
mercy — and to our beloved brother and representative, the 
bearer of this address, who will more particularly tell you, 
* face to face,' how much we rejoice to be coworkers with 
you in the extensive field of labor, and to witness such 
evident tokens of the divine goodness to our fallen world. 

444 A HISTORY OF THE [1828. 

" Recollecting the Christian deportment, the ministerial 
gravity and dignity, and, what is more endearing to us, 
the brotherly affection of your late delegate to our confer- 
ence, the Rev. Richard Reece, and his amiable companion, 
the Rev. John Hannah, both of whom have left a sweet 
savor behind them, we take much pleasure in giving to 
you this renewed assurance of our unabated attachment to 
those doctrines, and that discipline, by which both you 
and we are distinguished ; to set our seal to the maxim, 
that 'the Wesleyan Methodists are one throughout the 
world ;' and also our desire that the intercourse between 
us, by the mutual exchange of delegates, may be kept up 
and continued ; and that, as a means of our edification and 
comfort, we shall be happy to receive whomsoever you 
may appoint to visit us at our next session. 

" With sentiments of unfeigned respect and Christian 
affection, we are, dear brethreUj one with you in the fel- 
lowship of Jesus Christ. 

" Signed in behalf of the General Conference of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, held at Pittsburgh, (Pa.,) 
May, 1828. 

" Enoch George, President. 

" Martin Ruter, Secretary T 

Thus closed the labors of the General Conference of 
1828, and here I close the third volume of this History, 
with an expression of gratitude to the Author of all 
good for sparing my life and health so far to complete 
my undertaking. 




Notice to the reader P^S® ^ 


Difference between Wesley and Whitefield, p. 8 ; its consequences, p. 
9: Fletcher and his writings, p. 10; Wesleyan missionaries m America 
-their manner of preaching, p. 12 ; provoke opposition, p. 13 ; how 
defended, p. 14; Hopkinsianism, p. 15; this changed the points of con- 
troversy, p. 16 ; public debate and its results, p. 17 ; charitable society for 
the education of pious young men, p. 18 ; its address, p. 19 ; examined by 
Mr Garrettson, p. 20 ; its opinions startle the community, p. 21 , its 
general views, p. 22 ; its political tendency, p. 23 ; Connecticut changes 
its charter, p. 26 ; religious liberty obtained, p. 28 ; numbers, p. 30 ; seces- 
sion of Richard Allen, p. 30; organizes a church, p. 31 ; General Confer- 
ence of 1816-its members, p. 33 ; Bishop M'Kendree s address p 35; 
delegates from British conference, affairs of Canada, p. 36 ; letter from 
mission committee of London, p. 37 ; report of General Conference on 
Canada affairs, p. 41 ; letter addressed to the committee in London, p 
42 • report of the episcopal committee, and election of Enoch George and 
Robert R. Roberts to the episcopal office, p. 43 ; report of the committee 
of ways and means, p. 43 ; support and improvement of the muiistiy, p. 
45; committee of safety, p. 48; on local preachers, p. 51; provision tor 
the married bishops, p. 53; book agents, p. 53; adjournment of Confer- 
ence, p. 54. 


Conferences and manner of attending them, p. 54 ; Tract Society of the 
Methodist Episcopal Church, p. 55 ; beneficial results, p. 56 ; general 
work p 57 ; character and death of Jesse Lee, p. 58 ; character and death 
of Mr Shadford, p. 64 ; numbers, p. 72 ; Methodist Magazine commenced, 
p. 73 ; Asbur>- College, p. 74 ; revivals in the BaUimore, New-York, and 
New-England conferences, p. 75; in "Upper Canada, p. 76; camp meet- 
ings again in Kentucky, p. 76 ; general superintendence, p. 77 ; its effects, 

bers, and its caus£S,_^_^_ ^ .... 

Methodist Episcopal Church, in 1819, p. 80; first constitution, p. 83; 
officers and managers, p. 85 ; their address, p. 86 ; circular, p. 91 ; auxi- 
liary societies, p. 93 ; Bishop M'Kendree's views, p. 93 ; Missionary 
Society of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the city of Philadelphia, 
p 94 ; secession of colored members in New-York, p. 95 ; tneir present 
state and prospects, p. 97; locations and deaths of preachers, p. 98; 
numbers, p. 99. 



General Conference of 1820. Names and number of delegates, p. 100 i 
opening of conference by Bishop M'Kendrce, and address of the bishops, 1 
p. 102; provision for Bishop M'Kendree, p. 103; caus£ of education, p. j 
104 ; report of committee commending the establisliment of seminaries of 
learning, p. 105; opposition to this cause, p. 107; Canada affairs, p. 108, 
letter from London, p. 112; address to the Wcsleyan Methodist confer- 
ence, p. 113; its answer, p. 115 ; resolutions of the British conference on 
Canada affairs, p. 118; instructions from our bishops, p. 126; to the 
brethren in Lower Canada, p. 130; result of these proceedings, p. 132; 
improved edition of the Hymn Book, p. 133 ; Tune Book, p. 134 ; revised, 
p. 139 ; building churches, p. 140 ; new regulation respecting local 
preachers, p. 141 ; did not work well, p. 142 ; finally abrogated, p. 143 ; 
report on missions, p. 143; revised constitution, p. 151; rule for con- 
ducting appeals, p. 155 ; a branch of the Book Concern established at 
Cincinnati, p. 156. 


Twelve conferences and two effective bishops, p. 157 ; state of things 
in Louisiana, p. 158 ; French mission unsuccessful, p. 159 ; Indian mis- 
sions, p. 159 ; number and general description of the condition and cha- 
racter of the Indians, p. 160; Wyandot Indians, p. 166; John Steward 
goes among them, p. 166 ; his reception, p. 167 ; effects of his labors, p. 
168; speeches of chiefs, p. 169; transactions at the Ohio conference, p. 
172; secession in the city of New-York — its causes and effects, p. 175; 
numbers return to the church they had left, p. 178 ; Missionary SocietyJ^ 
prospers, p. 179 ; its effects in some portions of New-England, p. 180 ; 
Methodism in Bristol, R. I., p. 182 ; in Provincetown, Mass., and Chili- 
cothe, Ohio, p. 183 ; locations, deaths, and numbers, p. 183 ; Wyandot 
mission, p. 184 ; Creek mission, p. 185 ; camp meetings in South Carolina 
and Tennessee, p. 187 ; work of God in Carter's Valley and Pittsburgh, 
p. 188 ; in North Carolina, p. 189 ; in Alabaraa, p. 190 ; character and 
death of S. Parker, p. 192 ; numbers, p. 193 ; Asbury mission, p. 193 ; its 
progress and disastrous results, p. 194 ; Mohawk mission, p. 198 ; Che- 
rokee mission, p. 206 ; domestic missions in Upper Canada, p. 209 ; 
general work — in Brooklyn, L. I., Amenia, and Tolland, p. 211 ; in Upper 
Canada district, p. 212 ; in Smyrna, Delaware, Surry county, Virginia, 
Scioto, Ohio, and Northumberland district, p. 213 ; Hudson River district, 
New- York, and New-RochcUe, p. 214; controversial preaching, p. 215; 
Wesleyan Seminary, p. 216; locations, deaths, and numbers, p. 216; 
■work of God prospers, p. 217 ; Missionary Society aided by the labors 
of John Summerfield, p. 218 ; his address to the Young Men's Missionary 
Society, p. 219; Potavvattomy mission, p. 223 ; Methodism in Jackson's 
Purchase, p. 223 ; in Michigan, p. 224 ; in Florida, p. 227 ; in Cumberland 
and St. Louis, p. 229 ; aboriginal missions prosperous, p. 230 ; Bishop 
M'Kendree's visit among the Wyandots, p. 231 ; G. R. Jones's letter, 
p. 236 ; J, B. Finley's travels, interesting account of Honnes, p. 238; 
mission in the city of New-York, p. 239 ; on Long Island, p. 240 ; in 
New-Brunswick, p. 241 ; work of God on Baltimore district, p. 242 ; 
Augusta College, p. 242 ; character and death of Dr. Chandler, p. 243 ; of 
Jotm Steward, p. 246; numbers, p. 251. 

General Conference of 1824. Names and number of delegates, p. 252 ; 
delegates from the Wesleyan Methodist conference, p. 254 ; address of 


said conference, p. 255 ; of Mr. Reece, p, 259 ; bishops' communication to 
the conference, p. 261 ; report of the committee on lay delegation, p. 264 ; 
on education, p. 268 ; Missionary Society, p. 270 ; American Colonization 
Society, p. 273 ; on slavery, p. 274 ; on the episcopacy, p. 276 ; election 
and consecration of Joshua Soule and Elijah Hedding to the episcopal 
ofRce, p. 277 ; Canada affairs, p. 278 ; report of the committee on the 
itinerancy, p, 279 ; address to the Wesleyan Methodist conference, p. 280. 


Wyandot mission visited by Bishops M'Kendree and Soule, p. 285 ; 
Methodism in Newburyport, Gloucester, and Piscataquis, p. 286 ; general 
work, p. 287; Cazenovia Seminary, p. 288; locations and deaths of 
preachers, p. 288 ; character of Peyton Anderson, p. 289 ; numbers, p. 
291 ; Indian missions — Peter Jones and others brought to God, p. 292 ; 
Methodism in New-Orleans, p. 296 ; Mobile and Pensacola, p. 298 ; in 
Tallahassee and Early, p. 299 ; in the Highlands and Hampshire, p. 300 ; 
in Chilicothe, p. 301 ; in Genesee, Bridgetown, Newark, and Cocymans, 
p. 302 ; in Albany, Champlain, and New-Haven districts, p. 303 ; church 
building, p. 303 ; revivals in Susquehannah and Black River districts, 
and in Baltimore, p. 304 ; Mariners' Church, New-York, p. 305 ; general 
work prosperous, p. 307; death and character of "William Beauchamp, p. 
308 ; death and character of William Ross, p. 314 ; numbers, p. 318 ; 
aboriginal missions prosper, p. 318 ; Methodism in Florida, Alabama, and 
Upper Canada, p. 319 ; revivals in Virginia and Maryland, p. 320 ; Wil- 
braham Academy and Madison College, p. 321 ; Christian Advocate 
begun, Sept. 9, 1826, p. 322 ; death and character of 'John Summerfield, 
p. 324 ; of Daniel Asbury, p. 329 ; of Daniel Hitt, p. 330 ; of Joseph Toy, 
p. 331 ; of John P. Finley, p. 332 ; numbers, p. 337 ; origin of the Sunday 
School Union of the Methodist Episcopal Church, p. 337 ; address, p. 
338 ; its character and success, p. 344 ; Cherokee mission, p. 347 ; Mis- 
sissauga, p. 349 ; character alid death of Between-the-logs, p. 350 ; Rich- 
mond mission, p. 355 ; Methodism in New-York city, p. 355 ; in New- 
Haven, p. 356 ; Maine Wesleyan Seminar>% p. 358 ; locations and deaths, 
p. 359 ; character and death of Philip Bruce, p. 360 ; of Freeborn Gar- 
rettson, p. 364; of James Smith, p. 371 ; of Seth Crowell, p. 374; num- 
bers, p. 378. 


General Conference of 1828. Names and number of bishops and dele- 
gates, p. 378 ; address of the bishops, p. 382 ; appeal of Joshua Randell, 
vindication of Bishop Hedding, Canada affairs, p. 388 ; resolutions of 
conference in reference to them, p. 389 ; important principle explained, 
p. 390 ; no precedent for a similar proceeding in the United States, p. 
392 ; how an annual conference may be disowned, p. 393 ; precedents for 
ordaining a bishop for Canada, p. 395 ; historical skfetch of the " Reform- 
ers," p. 396 ; Dr. Bond's Appeal, p. 402 ; Defence of our Fathers, p. 406 ; 
trials in Baltimore, p. 407; similar proceedings in other places, p. 411; 
mistake corrected, p. 412; the "Reformers" organize and memorialize 
the General Conference, p. 413 ; report of the conference on said memo- 
rial, p. 413; our people unfavorable to "reform," p. 431 ; effects of the 
secession — increase of membership, p. 432 ; proceedings of " Reformers," 
p. 434 ; " The Methodist Protestant Church" formed — its character, p. 
435 ; agitations continue, p. 436 ; finally cease, p. 437 ; review of the 
whole affair, p. 437 ; cause of missions, education, and colonization ; 
election of book agents and editors, and provision for the appointment of 
trustees, p. 440 ; address to the Wesleyan Methodist conference, p. 441 ; 
close of the vx)lume, p. 444. 


This book is due two weeks from the last date stamped 
below, and if not returned at or before that time a fine (A 
five cents a day will be incurred. 


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